70 Years of Celebrating Christmas in WaKeeney

The 70thanniversary of the first tree lighting ceremony in the “Christmas City of the High Plains” is only days away as we ‘round the corner to the holiday season. Our festival planners have been busy planning an extravaganza of fun and festive activities on Saturday, November 28thto kick off the season and celebrate seven decades of holiday spirit in WaKeeney.

Holiday Shopping

Get your Christmas shopping lists ready for the Annual Christmas Bazaar hosted by the Trego County Home Based Businesses. Vendors from across Western Kansas will be displaying their products for shoppers to find the perfect gifts for their family and friends. From personal care items, to Christmas ornaments you will treasure for years; you’ll find something special at the Christmas Bazaar held at the Trego County Fairgrounds from 9 AM – 4 PM.

Christmases of Years Past

Visit the Trego County Historical Society Museum for a trip back in time through the “Timeless Holiday Tradition” display. It explores the holiday traditions held dear by the people of our community and shares the story of how WaKeeney became “The Christmas City of the High Plains.” Included in the exhibition is a scaled down model of our Christmas tree and life-sized replicas of the bells, wreaths, and stars still used in the Main Street display to this day. The museum is open from 10 AM – 4 PM.

Christmas Comes Alive

Bring the kids to the WaKeeney Public Library for a live puppet show of the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol.” It is a story of redemption for our favorite Christmas “humbug” Ebenezer Scrooge who learns the true meaning of Christmas with the help of the ghosts of Christmases past, present, and future. The performance begins at 2 PM. 

Christmas Traditions in Downtown WaKeeney

Join us on Main Street and take a ride on the Nex-Tech Express Train or a horse drawn wagon. See our famous Christmas lights from the unique perspective of an old-time ride down Main Street. Tickets are FREE for the train and wagon rides, as well as a visit later with Santa. They are available for pick up at the WaKeeney Public Library beginning at 3 PM and everyone is encouraged to grab one to reduce the chance of long lines. The rides will run between 4 PM and 8 PM. 

A Visit from Santa’s Reindeer

Christmas wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of Santa’s team of reindeer. Stop by their holiday trailer parked on Main Street to wish them well on their long trek around the world on Christmas Eve. There will be four live reindeer to view, which runs from 4 – 8 PM.

A Communal Meal to Warm the Christmas Spirit

Plan to stop at the VFW Hall for a bowl of hot soup and a delicious dessert. This is an annual event that warms the heart, as well as the spirit. The selection of soups and desserts are homemade by the local chefs of the VFW Auxiliary and will be served at 4:30 PM. You can choose to eat there or take a meal to go. Bring your appetites!

Hometown Christmas Hospitality

Get a jump on your holiday shopping by visiting Downtown WaKeeney businesses. Many of them offer special sales during the event, as well as sweets to enjoy and fun activities for the kids. Businesses participating in Santa’s Downtown Workshop will be open from 5 – 8 PM. 

Be sure to stop by the recently updated North Pole Park to see the photo mural that was recently added to the north wall. The image was captured by Sarah Hille of Free Range Photography and recently installed by Commercial Sign Company. Gather your family together to take photos behind the fun elves and snowmen cut outs—a perfect photographic souvenir of your time in WaKeeney! 

And, don’t forget to stock up on WaKeeney Christmas City note cards to send to all your friends this holiday season. The image is a reproduction of an original oil painting by local artist Laurie Albin. Two styles are available for $10 per package of five and all proceeds go to the North Pole Project. They are available at Gibson’s Health Mart, Solution North Bank, First Federal Bank, Peoples State Bank, The Studio 128, and Trego County Historical Museum.

70 Years of Christmas Joy Under WaKeeney’s Famous Tree

Come celebrate the 70thAnniversary of the “Christmas City of the High Plains”when we turn on the lights to our famous 35-foot Christmas tree!The TCHS band will be playingour favorite holiday songs under the direction of Randy Saueraswe wait for Santa’s arrival. The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony begins at 6 PM and Santa will make his way down Main Street to light the tree and its heavenly blue canopy at approximately 6:15 PM. 

Santa’s Arrival in the “Christmas City of the High Plains”

Bring your kids to the North Pole Park to show Santa his new “home” in WaKeeney. Our volunteer team of elves have been working hard to get it ready for Santa so he can sit in comfort as he receives our children’s Christmas wish lists. Treats will be handed out, along with Christmas cheer, after the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony concludes around 6:15 PM. Kids can bring their letters to Santa and deposit them in the North Pole Park Victorian-style mailbox. 

Celebrating 70 Years of Christmas Spirit

WaKeeney has been celebrating Christmas with bright lights and lots of holiday spirit for seven decades. With the new additions of LED lights, a new home for Santa, and the updates to North Pole Park, we are ready to ring in another seventy years. Please join us under the lights of our famous tree on November 28th, 2020 (always the Saturday after Thanksgiving) to celebrate the holidays and the festive spirit of the “Christmas City of the High Plains.” 

This annual tradition will continue in 2020 but we urge everyone to practice safety measures. Please, follow social distancing guidelines & please wear masks if required.  Follow us on Facebook @GetWaKeeney, check out our website, or call (785) 743-8325 for more information.

Enjoy and Be Safe!

Celebrate the 2018 Holiday Season in the “Christmas City of the High Plains”

It’s Christmastime in WaKeeney, Kansas and this year we are filled with more holiday spirit than ever before!

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This year, the “Christmas City of the High Plains” will host their 68thAnnual Christmas Festival on Saturday, November 24th where we will turn on our new LED color-changing perimeter lights for the very first viewing before they become a permanent part of our Main Street. There are many great events planned for this celebration, including holiday shopping, carol singing, and celebrating this joyful season.

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Shopping at the Annual Christmas Bazaar

Get a jump start on your holiday decorating and shopping at WaKeeney’s Annual Christmas Bazaar. Vendors will open their doors from 10am–4pm to give you the opportunity to find the perfect gift for your favorite people (including you!). The Bazaar is held at the Trego County Fairgrounds and you’ll find household and beauty items, along with a large selection of handmade Christmas decorations, and much, much more!

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Explore the History and Beauty of Nativity Scenes

Enjoy the true spirit of the holiday at the Trego County Historical Society Museum. Their special exhibit, a “Festival of Nativities,” will feature nativity scenes in many styles, types, and forms that span decades. Don’t forget to explore the museum’s new addition where you’ll find many more interesting historical items dating back to the founding of our town. (Open from 10am-Noon; and 1-4pm.)

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Free Family Fun and InMotion’s Virtual Reality Ride

Head to Downtown WaKeeney at 4pm for holiday fun and festivities. Local business owners are hosting a ticket booth in our newest retail store, What Knot’s in Pine at 126 N. Main. They will be providing FREE tickets to reserve a spot in line to see Santa Claus or ride on InMotion’s popular “Santa’s Sleigh Ride” virtual reality experience. Experience the thrill and excitement Santa enjoys on his midnight ride. It will be operating from 5-9pm.

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Join Us at the Community Soup Supper

Warm your body with a big bowl of homemade soup from the chefs of the VFW Auxiliary. This community Soup Supper will be held at the VFW Hall at 4:30pm and will serve dessert along with the soup. It’s the perfect way to get you ready for all the great evening events to come. You might get lucky, too, at a raffle they will be holding during the meal.

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Gypsy Kansas

Enjoy the Live Music

Stop by The Studio 128 from 4:30-5:45pm and after our Christmas tree lighting ceremony from 6:30-8pm for a live performance from two Kansas bands. Get your fix of Christmas carols, tap your toe, and join in on the chorus as the bands go through their catalog of seasonal favorites.

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Games, Crafts, Treats and Drinks!

The elves have nothing on the enterprising folks at Santa’s Downtown Workshop. WaKeeney’s area businesses will be hosting crafts, games, snacks and drinks for all the kids in their stores while they wait to visit Santa 5–8pm. Look for the our posters at participating businesses.

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Christmas Carols with a Barbershop Quartet

Christmas carols are getting the Barbershop Quartet treatment courtesy of the Trego Arts Council. The performance begins after the tree lighting ceremony at the VFW Hall with traditional holiday songs perfectly harmonized, up and down the scale.

Downtown Christmas Tree & Decorations

68ThAnnual “Christmas City of the High Plains Christmas Festival

Join us at the crossroads of Main Street and Russell Avenue at 6pm under the light of our 35-foot Christmas tree for the 68ThAnnual “Christmas City of the High Plains’” tree lighting ceremony!

Expect an extra grand display this year, as we’ve fortified our holiday decorations with brand new LED color-changing perimeter lights from Inception Lighting adorning buildings throughout the four-blocks of Downtown WaKeeney. Thanks to the generosity of local businesses, a Dane G. Hansen grant, and the citizens who contributed to the “Get Lit” campaign, the lights will continue to shine bright throughout the year, with a rainbow of colors for every season.

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A Visit from Santa Claus

Get ready to welcome the man of the hour, Santa Claus, as he lights our famous Christmas tree. Afterwards, we’ll escort him to his special holiday seat in our very own North Pole Park, where he’ll checking his list and listening to every child’s wishes before sending them on their way with a special holiday treat.

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Jump on the Horse Drawn Carriage Ride

Listen closely after the tree lighting ceremony to hear the clop, clop, clop of jolly holiday revelers as they cruise our Main Street in a decorated horse drawn carriage from Big Creek Horse & Carriage. Sponsored by Solutions North Bank, this is a much-anticipated FREE activity every year.

 

Enjoy the magic of the season under the glow of holiday lights in the “Christmas City of the High Plains” on Saturday, November 24. Our display remains lit through New Years and is free to the public. For more information, please contact organizers at (877)962-7248 or (785)743-8325, or check out our website and look for updates on our Facebook page.

Come to WaKeeney to make wonderful holiday memories with us in “the Christmas City of the High Plains!”

Christmas Comes to the High Plains in WaKeeney, Kansas

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Sleigh bells, carols, and—what’s that I hear? Why, it’s the beep, beep, beep of utility trucks as their teams of workers get busy stringing up the lights of our famous Christmas tree!

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Soon WaKeeney’s Main Street will be festooned with the bright lights and fragrant greenery that turns our town into the Christmas City of the High Plains. Once completed, our 35-foot tree will be the centerpiece of our annual Christmas Festival.

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We start the holiday season off at 10 AM on Saturday, November 26 with the Annual Christmas Bazaar held at the fairgrounds. The Trego County Home Based Business Association sponsors this event and shoppers will find a variety of handmade items, food vendors, a lunch stand, and door prizes awaiting them.

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Later that evening, follow the glow of 6,800 colored lights to Downtown WaKeeney for the largest Christmas display between Kansas City and Denver. There will be music, horse drawn wagon rides, shopping, special holiday treats for the kids, a community soup supper, and a live nativity scene sponsored by Prairie Faith Shared Ministry with animals from Wolf’s Petting Zoo of Russell. The evening culminates with Santa as he flips the switch on our historic Christmas tree. It’s a beautiful moment where our citizens come together to sing carols and wish each other peace and goodwill in the truest spirit of community.

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Afterwards, take your children by the hand and follow Santa to his house at our own Main Street “North Pole.” Santa will be ready to hear all the things they have on their Christmas list, no matter how long it is. But be warned, he may have his “naughty” list with him!

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Join all of us in Downtown WaKeeney Saturday, November 26th, the Saturday after Thanksgiving for our annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Then stick around and enjoy all the activities and holiday shopping you’ll find in the Christmas City of the High Plains!