Santa, parade bring in Christmas
For the second straight year, Baldwin City residents bundled up and stood outside in the frigid temperatures to bring in the Christmas season.
Hundreds of adults and children lined up downtown Baldwin for the annual Light Parade Sunday night. After the parade, which was sponsored by the Baldwin City Recreation Commission, Santa Claus lit the Christmas tree, located at the corner of Eighth and High streets.
"All in all, it seemed like a great night," BCRC Director Monte Ezell said. "It was a chance for everyone to get together and have a good time. There was a very good crowd and things looked sharp. I am happy."
The "Picture Perfect Christmas" evening began at 6 p.m. with a performance from Stacy's Dance Studio. Then the parade started and moved its way south down Eighth Street.
As each of the 17 parade participants in the parade passed through downtown, Ezell, as the emcee of the event, introduced them. He said the number of entries wasn't what he expected, but the weather might have caused that.
"I was surprised, because we had a couple back out, probably because of the weather, and had a couple show up that I didn't expect," Ezell said. "We're going to change the way we do things next year and hopefully we get more entries for the parade."
When Santa arrived downtown, he handed out candy canes to the children. Then he picked up 3-year-old Ava Huntoon, daughter of Ivan and Bonnie Huntoon, and turned on the Christmas tree lights.
Santa then sat down next to the tree and listened to children's Christmas lists, while parents took pictures.
"I thought the night went really well," Ezell said. "We've gotten good feedback from people. It was everything it was meant to be."
Although things seemed to work fine Sunday, Ezell said the BCRC ran into a few problems during its first year of sponsoring the event.
"We had some glitches and found out that we would like to do some things differently," Ezell said. "I wish the heaters would have worked better, but those are obstacles that are insurmountable at that time."
One of those problems was a brief power outage. Shortly after 7 p.m. Sunday, the entire downtown area lost all power, but it only lasted for about a minute.
Ezell said he didn't have any idea why there was a brief blackout, but one of the BCRC employees lives in Wellsville and it also lost power Sunday night. City Administrator Jeff Dingman said the outage was a KCP&L problem, not one with Baldwin's electrical system.
Ezell helped the BCRC raffle drawing after the parade. The tickets were free and numerous prizes were given out, including two bicycles.
Even though it was only two days after the event, on Tuesday Ezell said the BCRC will probably sponsor the parade next year.
"It's kind of an appropriate niche," Ezell said. "I'm going to get a lot more people involved earlier than I did this year."