Tuesday, Nov. 13 2012 5:52PM
Santa visits downtown Friday
Mayor’s tree lighting ceremony held at Howard Station Park
Lee’s Summit Mayor Randy Rhoads will flip the switch to light the Mayor’s Tree and all of downtown Nov. 16.
The ceremonies begin at 6:30 p.m. in Howard Station Park in downtown Lee’s Summit. Ryan Lefebvre, Royals announcer, is the master of ceremonies.
This year’s annual event features free, limited edition Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street calendars, hot cocoa, cookies, live performances and real reindeer. Santa, Mrs. Claus and their elves arrive on a fire truck to visit with each and every child at Howard Station Park; so bring a camera to take photos with Santa. Carriage rides also will be offered for a fee. Prior to the lighting and Santa’s arrival, the Lee’s Summit Elementary Choir will again entertain the crowd with holiday favorites.
A new tradition also will be part of the entertainment when a Heart of America Dance Centre ballerina will perform the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from “The Nutcracker.” Also new this year is the “Merry & Bright: Wrap Yourself in Lights” contest. Anyone who attends the event wearing a sweater, hat or other attire that is lighted in some fashion can enter the contest to win prizes. Winners will be announced during the ceremonies.
Lee’s Summit Downtown Main Street Inc. will be giving the Mayor’s Care Fund $450, a charity associated with the event.
Rhoads said that fund is a last-resort step to help Lee’s Summit residents with rent or utility bills. He said Lee’s Summit Social Services uses the fund when it has exhausted other help available to a particular client.
People needing help are required to go through the agency so it can track services being provided and to connect clients with other programs to help them.
“It truly is an emergency fund,” Rhoads said.
Every year, thousands of lights are turned on throughout Howard Station Park and the central business district. The lights remain on through the first week in January.
“The Mayor’s Tree Lighting is one of community’s most beloved traditions, and we are so thankful to have Mayor Rhoads help us kick off the holiday season in Downtown Lee’s Summit,” said Trisha Drape, executive director of Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street. “Hundreds of families join with their neighbors every year to watch the downtown transformed by thousands of bright holiday lights and, of course, to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.”
For more information, contact Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street at 816-246-6598 or visit www.downtownls.org.