Cold temperatures can’t stop Christmas cheer
Despite frigid temperatures Sunday, hundreds of people bundled up to come out and watch the annual Light Parade and Christmas tree lighting in downtown Baldwin City.
"I was amazed at all of the people that came out with such cold, frigid weather," parade coordinator Peach Madl said.
The parade, which began at 6 p.m., attracted hundreds of people to the corner of Eighth and High streets, where it finished. The people watched as 13 floats made their way down to intersection.
Baldwin City Recreation Commission Director Monte Ezell, emcee for the night, introduced each float.
While no award was given for best float, Madl said one float stood out above the rest.
"It was obvious the Dunco-Niehoff float was the most outstanding float in the parade," Madl said. "The Knights of Columbus was also good. They always do the nativity scene at the beginning of the parade."
After the parade, many of the spectators visited several local businesses and the Lumberyard Arts Center Project, as well as Stacy's Dance Studio, where the annual Nativity Scene display could be seen.
The LAC was serving hot chocolate and cookies, while allowing people to take photos with Santa Claus.
"There were lots of people who came in and visited," said Sandy Cardens, who is leading the LAC project. "Plus the Baldwin Community Arts Council having the 'make and take' an ornament for the children brought many people inside."
Cardens said so many people came in Sunday, that they ran out of hot cocoa for visitors.
"We used all of the hot chocolate we had," Cardens said. "I think a lot of people took advantage of the warmth inside to get out of the cold weather. It was definitely warm in there."
Sunday was just one example of what Cardens dreamed of when she helped start the LAC project.
"This is what we envisioned when we started the Lumberyard Arts Center project," Cardens said. "I thought it was a great spot to have it. I hope people see the value of it being there."
Many people also stepped inside Stacy's Dance Studio to view the numerous nativity scenes on display.
Stacy Carrington, owner of the studio, said she enjoyed the evening and that the nativity scenes were popular.
"We were busy from around 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., before the parade," Carrington said. "Overall, it was a great night."
Sunday's events also included Baker University's 75th annual Christmas Candlelight Vesper's programs. One show ran before the parade and one after at the First United Methodist Church.
"I thought the programs were wonderful," said John Buehler, Baker University department of music chair. "The audiences were receptive. The church was packed and the receptions were full. The first show may have even been too full."
Each program was filled with performances from the Baker choir and orchestra that lasted for more than an hour.
Buehler thought the students involved had a great time.
"I really think the students enjoyed themselves," Buehler said.
Cardens said the entire evening was a nice way to bring in the holiday season.
"I thought it was very festive," Cardens said. "I think it's a wonderful tradition that was started. I thought it was very successful. The tree was beautiful as always. The lights were beautiful. It just felt like Christmas."