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There’s still plenty of Christmas left
Deklyn Craven greets people at the entrance to the Trail of Lights at 18th and Williams St. It turned out that his cousins were in their vehicle. Roman Garza is the driver and Ariana Garay is the passenger. - photo by photos by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Winter weather may have forced the cancelation of the City of Great Bend’s Home for the Holidays Parade and events downtown Saturday night, but there is still plenty of Christmas cheer to behold, said Community Coordinator Christina Hayes.

“Sure, we’re a little disappointed about having to call off the activities on Saturday,” she said. The decision came as snow started to fall Saturday morning “to keep our patrons and visitors safe.”

But, “there is still a lot of Christmas glitter and charm to go around,” she said. “We are still a Christmas city.”

The Trail of Lights 

Trail of Lights greeters are the “friendly faces” that meet those touring the sparkling lights.

 There may not have been greeters Saturday night, but this community tradition continued despite the snow.

Those manning the Trail entrance booth at the south end of Brit Spaugh Park on Williams Street work two-hour shifts. They track the number of car occupants, car tag info to see where visitors are coming from, and take donations that help maintain the light displays.

They also hand out candy canes and welcome bags that include information about Great Bend and its businesses. 

Milder weather on Sunday brought several people out to travel the trail. Deklyn Craven from the Shifters Car Club was on duty as one of the holiday volunteers. By 7 p.m., he’d seen at least 20 people from four counties drive into the park.

“They’ve been going to Dairy Queen and getting a Blizzard, and then driving by with the heater cranked up,” he said.

Plenty more  to do

In addition to the Trail of Lights, there is free ice skating in Jack Kilby Square, Santa and Santas Around the World exhibit at 1223 Main St., Dolly Trolley rides and much more. For details, see the complete listing below.

For additional information regarding these and other city activities, contact Hayes at 620-793-4111 or via email


December events

• Free ice skating in Jack Kilby Square - Thursdays and Fridays, 4-8 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 1-6 p.m.

• Trail of Lights, various locations in town - Open now through Jan. 1; free to drive

• Visit Santa and Santas Around the World ( at 1223 Main St. - Thursdays and Fridays 4-6 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 1-6 p.m.

• Rosewood Golden Ticket - Pick one up Dec. 1-19 at Santas Around the World.

• Christmas Craft Mall, 3101 Lakin Ave. - Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday 1-6 p.m.

• Downtown Christmas Windows, participating businesses - through Dec. 31. Vote for the People’s Choice through Dec. 3. The ballot box is at the Rosewood Foundation Office, 1213 Main  St.

• Dolly Trolley Rides - Free rides to see the Trail of Lights, compliments of local sponsors, starting Nov. 28. Reserve tickets at Rides depart from Perks Coffee Shop, 1216 Main, at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays, up through Dec. 30.

Note on the trolly: The coffee shop isn’t officially open, but during times when the trolley is operating from that location, the shop will be open to serve cookies and a hot beverage to riders, if staff are available.

• Golden Belt Model Railroad Display, 1405 Main - 4-6 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 1-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through December.

• Carriage Rides at Brit Spaugh Park - 6:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 15-16 and 22-23. Rides start next to the Williams Street entrance and cost $25 for two adults. Call 620-786-2161 for more information.

• Wheatland Electric Christmas Light Contest - Various homes in town.

Christmas lights and holiday displays are already showing up in the Golden Belt, including this one in front of a house on Broadway Ave. in Great Bend.