Archive for Thursday, November 29, 2007

Holiday changes abound

November 29, 2007

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it's Christmas time in Baldwin City.

Although Christmas Day is 26 days away, there will be activities happening around town, but there are some changes to the usual events.

The annual Light Parade was moved from the first Sunday in December to Dec. 8. Another change was the second-annual scavenger hunt. Last year it began on the same night as the parade, but this year it has already started.

"The scavenger hunt acquaints people in the community with the merchants in Baldwin City," said Ivan Huntoon, Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce president. "It gets people out and helps bring them into shops around town. The Christmas parade and lighting ceremony help kick off the holiday season. I'm looking forward to a crowd of people welcoming Santa at the tree lighting ceremony."

One holiday event that hasn't changed is Baker University's 77th annual Christmas Candlelight Vespers. The first program will begin at 4 p.m. Sunday with the second at 7:30 p.m. Both will happen at the First United Methodist Church, located at the corner of Eighth and Grove streets. For more information, see story in news section.

The Light Parade will begin at 6 p.m. Dec. 8. It will again follow the same route as it begins at Eighth and Chapel streets, heads south down Eighth, east on High Street and finishes at the Christmas tree.

Anyone wanting to enter in the parade, may call Susan Baker at the chamber of commerce at (785) 594-3200 or visit the chamber's Web site at

The tree has been moved this year. It will be east of the Lumberyard Arts Center, instead of its previous location at the corner of Eighth and High streets.

"The parade changed dates because the committee thought it would be better to have it on a non-school night and there won't be as many conflicts," said Shawna Garber, Light Parade co-organizer.

The usual raffle for prizes will be going on, along with prizes for the top three floats. Hot drinks and refreshments will be served. The Baldwin High School choir and band will be performing in the parade this year.

Santa Claus will end the parade as he will stop at the Christmas tree, pick a child and light the tree. That kicked off the scavenger hunt a year ago, but not this year.

The scavenger hunt started Nov. 15 at the chamber of commerce mixer and Baldwin High School pep rally. It will end Dec. 10 when all of the kits must be turned in.

The earlier beginning has helped boost involvement this year. Katie Skinner, scavenger hunt organizer, said more than 25 kits have been purchased already, compared to only 24 last year.

"We've had a great turnout so far this year," Skinner said. "It's been a great response. It's cruising."

Scavenger hunt kits can be purchased at Santa Fe Market for $5. This year's hunt includes 24 businesses and 22 clues. Santa Fe Market and MidAmerica Bank are the start and finish, so they are the extra businesses.

Although there are only 11 days left for the scavenger hunt, Skinner has heard positive comments from the business owners during the first two weeks.

"I've heard great things from the businesses so far," Skinner said. "We are having fun and getting people involved this year."

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