Holiday season kicks off downtown tonight
Downtown Baldwin City is officially ringing in the holidays tonight as the annual Scavenger Hunt and Holiday Bingo kickoff the season.
The Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce is hosting its annual Holiday Hoopla from 5-8 p.m. at the Lumberyard Arts Center. It’s become the annual tradition for local patrons and downtown businesses.
“Join us tonight for the Holiday Hoopla from 5-8 p.m. at the Lumberyard
Arts Center,” said Susan Baker, BCCC spokesperson. “We'll kick off the Scavenger Hunt and Holiday Bingo. Shoppers will be eligible to win Baldwin Bucks. Refreshments will be served in each participating business.”
Tonight will be the start of the Scavenger Hunt and Holiday Bingo. They will end Dec. 12. Around 30 businesses will be participating in either the Scavenger Hunt or Holiday Bingo.
Prizes will be awarded for both events. Names will be drawn for each level after the Scavenger Hunt ends. The prizes are Baldwin Bucks worth $300 for first place, $200 for second and $100 for third place.
Prizes will also be awarded to those who get at least one Bingo on their card. However, the amount of the prizes is unknown at this time.
Scavenger Hunt kits can be purchased for $5 at the Holiday Hoopla or at Santa Fe Market after tonight. The kit includes a list of participating businesses, a disposable camera and the list of clues. There are also coupons in the kits.
This year will be the first for the Holiday Bingo. Many of the businesses participating will be open tonight for those interested in the new game to spark interest in local businesses.
The Bingo cards are free and they can be picked up at any of the participating businesses. Those playing must go into the businesses and get the square on the card stamped.
“We want to always encourage what our local businesses have to offer,” Baker said. “Maybe they’ve never been to the Pink Lady or Melange Apron, so we want everyone to get out and enjoy our local businesses.”
Baldwin City’s holiday season continues next week. The annual Holiday Light Parade will begin at 6 p.m. Nov. 28. It will end on High Street between Seventh and Eighth streets.
The parade grand marshal will be Vivian Courtney. She is a 99-year-old Baldwin City resident, who moved here in 1953. For 24 years, she worked in the business office at Baker University. After retiring the first time, she served as the housemother at the Alpha Chi Omega sorority for six years.
“I’ve never been a grand marshal before and I don’t know how I was chosen,” Courtney said. “I feel like it’s a great honor and I appreciate it. I always go to the Light Parade every year. Through the years, it’s gotten better and better.”
Participants will include the Baldwin High School marching band, BHS choir, Victorian Carolers and many lighted floats. Santa will arrive on an antique fire engine and choose a child to help him light the community Christmas tree before passing out candy canes to the children.
Along with all these activities, the Baldwin City Recreation Commission will be having prize give-aways after the parade and the annual Holiday Arts Sale will be hosted by the Baldwin Community Arts Council. The art sale will feature area artists' work, which includes paintings, drawings, photography and pottery. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Lumberyard Arts Center.
For more information, contact the chamber of commerce at (785)594-3200. Parade entry form and more information can be found at www.baldwincitychamber.com.