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Home for the Holidays: Great Bend event coming Saturday, Nov. 30
Foundry manger 2019
Volunteers from Foundry Methodist Church set up their manger display in the courthouse square Saturday morning. According to volunteer Charles Waknitz, the church sets up the manger scene each year as part of its evangelism missions team for free pictures with the baby Jesus for the public as part of local holiday festivities. Waknitz the display will be open during the Home for the Holidays parade and activities on Saturday, Nov. 30. - photo by Daniel Kiewel

Slowly but surely, signs of the holiday season have been going up around Great Bend. This Saturday, Nov. 30, the Trail of Lights will be lit and the community will celebrate Home for the Holidays with a downtown parade, free ice skating and other events, including lighting the Mayor’s Christmas Tree and free ice skating in the courthouse square.

In the morning and afternoon, explore downtown stores. Pick up a cookie box at the Rosewood Furniture Gallery, 1607 Main, and take it to businesses participating in the Great Bend Cookie Contest. Taste the various cookies and vote for your favorite while entering the Explore Great Bend $1,000 Giveaway. The winner will be announced after the parade.

The parade will start at 5:30 p.m. on Main Street and will be followed by a host of activities in Jack Kilby Square starting at 6:15 p.m. These include the annual lighting of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree, free train rides provided by the City of Great Bend, horse-drawn carriage and wagon rides provided by Rosewood Services, and free hot dogs, hot chocolate and funnel cakes.

The eye-catching Santas Around the World exhibit opens for the season at 6:15 p.m. at 1221 Main. Admission is charged for the exhibit, but there is no charge to visit the real Santa inside the 1221 Main location at 6:30 p.m.

The free ice skating that opens Saturday after the parade is also an ongoing seasonal event. Located in Jack Kilby Square north of the band shell, the rink features artificial ice. Any ice skates can be used and they are available to borrow after the parade and at other times in December.

Trail of Lights

Great Bend’s Trail of Lights Display also lights up on Saturday night. The lights, including animated displays, can be seen at Brit Spaugh Park (Wild Lights), Veterans Memorial Park (12 Days of Christmas), K-96 and 10th Street (Nativity), Barton County Historical Society Village and Museum, just south of the Arkansas River bridge on U.S. 281, and back north to the Barton County Courthouse Square, where the north side display is set to music.

Saturday, Nov. 30 Schedule 

• Explore Great Bend Small Business Saturday and Cookie Contest - Cookie boxes are at Rosewood Furniture Gallery, 1607 Main

• River of Life Church Craft & Bake Sale (9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 1219 Main)

• Dilly & Doc’s Holiday Pop-Up Market (10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 1119 Main)

• Living Nativity Portraits in Jack Kilby Square (4-8 p.m.) Free photos provided by Foundry Methodist Church

• Home for the Holidays Parade - 5:30 p.m.

• Annual Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting - 6:15 p.m. in Jack Kilby Square, followed by free ice skating; free hot dogs, funnel cakes and hot chocolate; free rides

• Santas Around the World - 6:15 p.m., 1221 Main

• Visit with Santa - 6:30 p.m., 1221 Main

• Light the Square - 6:30 p.m

• Golden Belt Model Train Association Display - 4-9 p.m., 1315 Main.

Foundry manger setup 2019