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Traditions abound at season-opening events in Larned and Hoisington
Grinch throws switch.jpg

With the hustle and bustle that comes with Black Friday and Christmas shopping, it’s nice to be able to have a preliminary breather to get into the spirit.

In Larned, the traditional holiday season began Thanksgiving evening with the lighting of the “King’s Crown” adorning the city water tower. While the tradition dates back into the previous century, the lights were missing for almost a decade because they’d become unsafe to maintain and expensive to replace.

A grassroots campaign to restore them resulted in a large celebration at Thanksgiving in 2021. 

While the second annual event was somewhat more brief, many of the resumptive elements were present last Thursday. Community volunteers joined with the City of Larned to present a street in Santa’s village, with hot cocoa, plenty of photo opportunities and a chance to visit before the countdown began. Though not as massive as last year’s fest, a sizeable crowd gathered to see Santa and get a train ride around the scene.

This year, it was the Grinch (aka Sean Delaney) who stole the show. 

The Grinch brought his family to the hour-long event and kept the crowd warm with high-fives, jumps and high kicks, prior to his throwing the ceremonial switch. He was introduced by Master of Ceremonies Kevin Holt, who led this year’s countdown. Immediately following, there were pyrotechnics provided by the Larned Volunteer Fire Department, and the cocoa and goodies lasted until the end of the event. The tower lights were lit once again.

In Hoisington Friday evening, Santa hobnobbed with the residents after his arrival on Main Street perched on a hay bale. After dismounting, he headed to his branch office to hear Christmas wishes; Mrs. Santa headed over to the Chamber office to read stories.

Along with free tractor hay rides for all, Clara Barton Hospital and Clinics sponsored horse wagon rides for a third straight year. “We’re so excited to have them back,” noted Hoisington Chamber Executive Director Karen Baldyga.“Everyone loves the tractor hay rides, and everyone also loves the horse and wagon rides.” Hoisington High School’s Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America Club were seen around Santa’s house helping people on and off the rides.

Leading up to his worldwide trip on Christmas Eve, Santa is busy making many appearances.

It’s good to know he’s flexible.

Santa arrives in Hoisington