Holiday Festival, annual light parade set for Saturday
Baldwin City will be ringing in the holiday season a bit early this year, but don’t worry, Santa Claus won’t be fooled and will be lighting the Christmas tree Saturday evening.
During the past two years, Baldwin City’s Holiday Festival has been on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The festival was moved a week earlier this year.
“I was difficult for some people to participate last year, because it was Thanksgiving weekend,” said Shawna Garber, co-chair of the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. “In looking to evaluate what weekend to have it, we decided to move it a week earlier, rather than later. The whole month of December becomes busy, and the chance for bad weather increases.”
Garber said the early date had two other advantages. The first is allowing the downtown retailers to be open for early Christmas shoppers.
The second is the chance to collect monetary or food donations in a high-need year. On Saturday, there will be an opportunity to support the community through donations to the food pantry and emergency fund as well as Angel Tree adoptions.
“This is not only the kickoff to the shopping season but also to the giving season,” she said. “That’s primarily why we moved the date.”
Saturday starts with Breakfast with Santa at 9 a.m. at the Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center, 100 Bullpup Drive. Children and adults can enjoy all-you-can-eat pancakes from Chris Cakes. Santa Claus will make a guest appearance at the breakfast. The price includes crafts, breakfast and a picture with Santa.
Advance tickets may be purchased at the Baldwin City Recreation Commission Office. The BCRC may be reached at (785) 594-3670. The cost is $6 advance tickets or $8 at the door.
Rainbow Preschool is hosting Santa’s Toy Shop from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at BESIC. It’s a chance for children to do their own Christmas shopping. There will be many reasonably priced items for moms, dads, siblings and grandparents. Gift wrapping is included.
Baldwin Community Arts Council will be sponsoring the Holiday Art Sale from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Lumberyard Arts Center, 720 High St.
“We’re trying to make it a whole day’s festival,” Garber said. “We don’t want it to just be the parade.”
However, the parade will be the main event of the day. It will begin at 6 p.m. at the corner of Eighth and Chapel streets. The parade will head south on Eighth Street to High Street and turn east one-half block and stop at the Baldwin City Christmas tree.
Santa Claus will end the parade as he arrives on an antique fire truck. Santa will light the tree and then hand out candy canes to the children.
Floats can still be entered in the parade, and anyone wanting to do so should contact the Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce at (785) 594-3200.
“We will take walk-up entries for the parade, but we suggest everyone sign up ahead of time,” Garber said. “We are hoping for a wonderful parade. It should be a fun day.”
The Victorian Carolers will stroll the downtown area beginning at 4:30 p.m. The BCRC give-away for adults and children begins at 5:45 p.m. and will continue following the parade. Tickets for the drawing can be picked up starting at 5 p.m. from its table at the corner of Eighth and High streets.
For more information visit baldwincitychamber.com or call (785) 594-3200.