The Christmas season is on the way, and the Great Bend City Council Monday night paved the way for Santa’s arrival by approving the necessary permissions for the Home for the Holidays Festival the evening of Saturday, Nov. 27.
The theme this year pays homage to the 200th anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail with “Sweets and Treats on the Trail” and the parade grand marshal will be Sheryl Cheely. She was set to lead the parade last year, but it was cancelled due to COVID-19.
“The Home for the Holidays Festival and Parade is just around the corner,” Community Coordinator Christina 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, she said. She has added live music and an ice sculptor (who will carve four big blocks of ice) for entertainment this year.
That Saturday will be Small Business Saturday with Black Friday specials and there will be the Christmas cookie contest during the day. Then, there is the parade at 5:30, Mayor’s Christmas Tree lighting, the return of the ice skating rink, train and buggy rides, free hot dogs, hot chocolate and funnel cakes, and the opening of the Trail Of Lights.
• Closing Main Street from 24th to 12th street during the 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.