The Home for the Holidays Festival and Parade is fast approaching, and plans are already underway, Great Bend Community Coordinator Christina Hayes told the City Council Monday night. The annual event is set for 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, in downtown Great Bend.
The theme pays homage to the city’s 150th anniversary this year – “150 Years of Celebration,” Hayes said. Former City Attorney Bob Suelter will serve as grand marshal.
“The Home for the Holidays Festival and Parade is just around the corner,” Hayes said. “It’s Great Bend’s way of inviting Santa to town and kicking off our Christmas season.”
Partners in making the festival happen have stated they are willing to serve the free items again this year and the window decorating contest is back with great prizes for the businesses. “To honor the 150th city celebration we will have little pieces of fun to share,” she said. “Also a fire breather and an ice sculptor will perform in Jack Kilby Square.” The street closings help with the safety of the children and “create a friendlier atmosphere for the happenings downtown,” she said. This event has been happening annually since 2006.
• Closing Main Street from 24th to 12th street during the Home for the Holidays Parade from the hours of 5:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Also, the Police Department will help keep the intersections cleared especially around Lakin Avenue for the parade.
• Keeping Main Street closed from Broadway Avenue to 12th Street for an additional two hours after the parade, giving the horse-drawn carriage, train rides and free food vendors access to the street area.
• Closing Lakin Avenue from 4-9 p.m. and parking on the north side of Lakin Avenue from noon to 9 p.m.
Great Bend City Council meeting at a glance
Here is a quick look at what the Great Bend City Council did Monday night:
• Tabled action on a long-term renewable lease agreement with Joe Andrasek, doing business as Poor Boy Properties, for use of the city-owned parking lot near 12th and Williams.
• Approved a conditional use permit for Airbnb requested by Sharon and Leon Alexander and Michelle Abedi (the daughter of the Alexanders) at 2107 27th St, which falls into a residential neighborhood.
The Great Bend Planning Commission considered the matter at its Aug. 29 meeting and recommended approval, said Building Official Logan Burns.
According to the notes from the Planning Commission meeting, the Alexanders live in San Diego, Calif., and their daughter lives in California as well, but Leon has a brother who lives here and will look after the property.
There were no objections from nearby property owners, and none attended the meeting.
• Approved the lease of a building at the Great Bend Municipal Airport to Tony’s Aerial Spraying for $1,800 per year.
The storage building at 731 Ave B. has not been leased for several years. Tony’s Aerial Spraying requested a lease for the storage of equipment, Airport Manager Martin Miller said.
• Approved 2023 Blue Cross Blue Shield rates.
City Administrator Kendal Francis reported the city is expecting a double digit increase in its 2023 premiums. The city has been presented with an approximately 28% increase due to high utilization. “We budgeted 7% increase to health insurance premiums to minimize the burden on to the employees,” Human Resource Director Randy Keasling said. “Our reserve funds are strong, but this will most likely impact them and will force a significantly larger contribution in 2024.” • Held a work session to discuss the Quality of Life Capital Improvement Plan.
• Heard a report from City Administrator Kendal Francis.
• Heard a report from Christina Hayes, community coordinator and Convention and Visitors Bureau director.
• Approved closing Main Street from 19th Street to Lakin Avenue from 2:30- 4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, for the Great Bend High School Homecoming Parade.
• Approved closing downtown streets and other permissions required for the 2022 Home for the Holidays event the evening of Saturday, Nov. 26.
• Approved closing Forest Avenue from Main Street to Williams Street from 6-11 a.m. Saturday Oct. 15,, for the Flatlander Half Marathon.
• Approved abatements for trash and refuse violations at: 1421 8th, John Love; 226 Fruit St., Jose and Erica Valles; 608 Williams St., Marie Calzada; 1705 Baker, Jesus Leyva; 1411 18th, Ash Properties LLC;301 Grapevine, Guadalupe C. Flores; 201 Chestnut St., Cecila Obreon and Hector Lopez; 216 Chestnut St., Santiago Nunez; and 437 Plum, Construction Resolve LLC.
• Approved an abatement for a motor vehicle nuisance violation at 323 Frey St., Lupe and Hilareo Montez.
• Held a work session to discuss the Qualify of Life Capital Improvement Plan.