Breakfast with Santa to kick off Baldwin City holiday season
Festival of Lights parade scheduled for Nov. 26
Baldwin City will be ringing in the holiday season with events the next three weekends, including the annual Festival of Lights Parade.
There is one new addition to this year's holiday activities. The Baldwin City Recreation Commission is be the host of “Fill the Bus.” It's a donation drive for Christmas presents for Baldwin City families that need assistance giving gifts to their children.
A school bus will be parked at the Baldwin City Market from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26 and Dec. 3. It is to be filled with donations for Christmas items (toys or clothes) in new or good condition.
There will be free shopping at the BESIC commons area from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 10 and Dec. 17. For more information, call Amy Webb at (785) 979-3456.
“We're taking donations for Christmas items,” BCRC's Tammy Michael said. “We are trying to get them to park by the Post Office so we might be able to get donations the night of the parade.”
The rest of the holiday events start this weekend at the Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center. On Saturday, the BCRC is hosting its annual Breakfast with Santa.
The event begins at 9 a.m. at BESIC. Tickets are $6 in advance and $8 at the door. The event includes breakfast, photo with Santa and crafts.
“Families can come have pancakes and see Santa,” Michael said. “It usually draws a large crowd. It's a fun event for children and families.”
The main attraction to Baldwin is the Festival of Lights Parade. It was moved up a week last year, but organizers returned the parade to the Saturday after Thanksgiving, where it was the two previous years.
“We moved it again this year,” Michael said. “People seem to really like it on Thanksgiving weekend. I know they tried it a different weekend last year, and they didn't get a good turnout.”
Other than the date, the rest of the details of the parade have remained the same. It will begin at 6 p.m. Nov. 26. It will start at the corner of Eighth and Chapel streets and head south to Eighth and High streets. The parade will then head east one block, and the floats will be parked between Sixth and Seventh streets on High Street.
Santa Claus will be riding in the last float, which is the antique fire engine. As always, he will hand out candy canes before choosing one child to help him light the town Christmas tree.
The number of floats each year isn't determined until shortly before the parade is scheduled to start.
“It all depends on the weather,” Michael said. “If the weather is nice, we should have lots of floats. Many of them won't register until that night. If it's rainy and cold, we don't have many floats. It just depends on the weather.”
After the parade, the BCRC will have its annual drawing for prizes. Attendants at the parade can pick up tickets before or after the parade for a chance to win free prizes. The drawing will take place in the empty lot between the Post Office and Lumberyard Arts Center.
There will be prizes given to the top three decorated floats. Along with the top floats receiving prizes, the BCRC will also be awarding prizes for best-decorated business, the decorations must include lights. The prizes are $75, $50 and $25.
“We are asking business to decorate their business,” Michael said. “We will have a contest and the window fronts will be judged.”
On the day of the parade, Christmas music will be playing all day, starting at 10 a.m. The Victorian Carolers will also be performing that evening. The Baldwin Academy of Dance will have a performance at 5:45 p.m. at the corner of Eighth and High streets.
The Baldwin Community Arts Council will be having its annual Holiday Arts Sale from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. inside the Lumberyard Art Center. There will also be a Holiday Village Display inside the art center beginning Friday.
Baker University will be hosting its 81st Annual Christmas Candlelight Vespers at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4 at the First United Methodist Church.