WHEATLAND – The Festival of Lights Committee has set the date for the 2012 Christmas parade and lighting ceremony. The parade will begin at 5:30 pm at 16th & Gilchrist Sts. Parade entries will line up in the Brown Co parking lot, and the parade route will go east on Gilchrist St to 12th St – south on 12th St to South St – east on South St to 9th St – north on 9th St to Walnut St – end in front of the courthouse where entrants will park for the people to vote on their favorite float/entry.
Citizens of the community will be able to vote for their favorite float by placing any spare change or bills they have in their pockets while the floats/entries are parked in front of the courthouse in the box that each entry has with them. The entry/box that has the most money in it is the “Peoples’ Choice” winner.
Following the parade will be the lighting ceremony at the courthouse. The parade will be announced, Christmas music and carols will be played during the day and the event at the courthouse. Businesses will remain open later that evening to kickoff the holiday season.
The grand opening of the Santa Center will be held after the parade and lighting ceremony, November 30 at 7:00 pm. The Santa Center will be located at 875 Gilchrist St (old Book Nook store). There will be an avenue of trees located in the center along with other decorations and Santa Claus. We are asking organizations/groups, etc to enter a tree. The organization/group will need to provide their own tree and decorations. Each entry will have a change box sitting beside the tree for visitors to drop their spare change/dollars in. The box that has the most money in it will be the “Peoples’ Choice”. The money will help defray the cost of the decorations for the courthouse and will also be given to the local food bank. Christmas stories will also be read during the open hours. The hours for the Santa Center will be as follows: Friday, November 30 – 7:00 to close. Other dates the Center will be open are: Fridays from 5- 8 pm and Saturdays from 1 – 5 pm; November 30, December 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, & 22nd. Sigma Chi will be helping with the Center and will have their calendar available for purchase.
The committee is looking for pine and/or juniper boughs to place in the flower pots downtown for decorations. If anyone has any of these boughs, please contact one of the committee members, and we will come and pick them up from you and haul them away.
The centennial brand trees will also be displayed at the courthouse again this year. The trees were built to hold the centennial brands that were displayed last year. If anyone has their brand(s) and would like them displayed on the trees at the courthouse, please contact one of the committee members or bring your brand(s) to one of the members.
The committee will also be placing the Christmas cans in various businesses throughout the community for citizens to make contributions. The contributions in these cans will go to the local food bank to help replenish their supplies.
There is a quilt that will be raffled off, and it will be displayed at various businesses throughout the community during the month of November. The quilt will then be moved to the Santa Center and placed on display. The drawing for the quilt will be held on the last day the Santa Center is open, December 22nd. Tickets will be available from committee members and at the Santa Center. The money raised from this raffle helps defray the cost of the decorations and supplies needed to decorate our community. The quilt was made and donated by Polly Helzer.
The committee is encouraging members of the community and businesses to participate in the Holiday festivities. Help us celebrate the Christmas season and support your local businesses. We are encouraging businesses to decorate their store front windows and help us celebrate the holiday season. We would also like to encourage you to attend the parade and participate in the holiday season kickoff.
If anyone or an organization has any questions, concerns, or would like to participate in decorating downtown or a tree at the Santa Center, or greenery for the flower pots, please contact one of the following committee members: Nancy Munier at 331-8660, Dan Brecht at 322-6232, Jeannie Mitchell at 331-0505, Justin Herdt at 331-0377, or Ruth Herdt at 331-1286.
For questions or entry forms for the parade, please contact Ruth Herdt at 331-1286 or entry forms will be available in the local newspaper(s). The entry forms are being sponsored by the Platte County Record Times.