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Festivities enjoyed, parade winners announced
new deh mayors christmas tree pic
Great Bend Mayor Mike Allison, right, and former Mayor/Christmas Parade Grand Marshal Bob Parrish flip the switch to light the new Mayors Christmas Tree on the Courthouse Square Saturday night. The lighting was one of the many events that took place Saturday to launch the holiday season. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

It’s official. The holidays have come to Great Bend.

Residents lined Main Street on a chilly evening Saturday to watch the 2010 Home for the Holidays Parade makes its way through downtown to the Courthouse Square. Thirty two entrants walked, rode on floats or pranced on horse back as they displayed their Christmas spirit based on the theme "Our Favorite Christmas Stories."

"I think things were really successful and everyone enjoyed the evening," said Sarah Krom. Krom is with Sunflower Diversified Services which sponsored the parade for the past five years.

"This is nice," one resident said as she partook of the activities. She liked that everyone was coming together and getting along.

The parade was only the beginning of the seasonal activities Saturday. After waving at the crowds from end of the parade, Mr. and Mrs. Claus took up residence in Santa’s House to hear children’s Christmas wishes. Donations for pictures taken with the Clauses raised $64 for the Barton County Historical Society.

Braving the growing cold, young and old alike took advantage of the first chance to skate on the artificial ice skating rink. There were plenty of thuds and laughs to be heard as those inexperienced on blades plopped to the ground.

Although missed by many, another highlight was the lighting of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree. Great Bend Mayor Mike Allison and former Mayor/Christmas Parade Grand Marshal Bob Parrish flipped the switch, and the chain of lights on the small Serbian pine twinkled. The young tree replaces the larger one that was removed as part of the Jack Kilby Plaza project in front of the Barton County Courthouse.

Other activities included the Salvation Army handing out cookies and coffee, MyTown giving away hotdogs, Foundry Methodist Church offering free pictures with actors portraying the Holy Family, Rosewood Services providing wagon and carriage rides around the square, city employees giving rides in the city’s train, and a reception at the Barton County Arts Council gallery. While there were going on, some warmed their hands at fire pits and others kept businesses that stayed open for the festivities busy.

As for the parade results, with a float all about stories that Grandma tells, Completely Kids, took Theme honors. Judges included Kenny Vink, Jan Westfall and Jennifer Schartz who were impressed with the quality and diversity of the entries.

Awards in each category were:


Holiday Spirit Traveling Plaque – St. Francis Community Services

Second – Office Products Incorporated

Third – Barb’s School of Dance


First – St. Marks Lutheran

Second- Foundry Methodist


First – Christian Motorcycle Club

Second – Barton County Historical Society

Third – Mid America Mopars


First – St. Marks Lutheran

Second – Cub Scouts Pack 184

Third – St. Francis Community Services


First - Murphy, PKM, Reif Farms

Second - Craig Gowdy Family

Third – Judy Demel and Festus


First – Cub Pack 184

Second – Cub Pack 157

Third – Maddox Family Twins