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!

A New Home for Santa at North Pole Park in Downtown WaKeeney

We’re sprucing up the “Christmas City of the High Plains,” with even more lights, fresh updates, and a new home for Santa!

The New Santa House

WaKeeney’s famous Christmas light display is celebrating its 70thanniversary on Saturday, November 28, 2020 and our community wants to make it the most memorable year yet! We’ve been busy planning an amazing festival to welcome Santa to our community, and we’re even giving him a new house to greet the children who are anxiously awaiting his arrival. 

Construction crews have been busy erecting a larger traditional wood frame house, with a porch and two doors for easier access to the “big guy” and to make it a comfortable place for him to rest during his visit to Downtown WaKeeney.

The new Santa House will be replacing the smaller, metal one that has been part of North Pole Park since its founding. The park celebrates everything Christmas and is a great place for selfies to commerorate a visit to WaKeeney anytime of year. 

Christmas Decorating has Already Begun in Downtown WaKeeney
More updates are planned for the upcoming holiday season. A new 12’ X 12’ picture mural taken by Sarah Hille of Free Range Photography will be installed on the park’s north wall by Commercial Sign Company. An interpretive panel will be installed next to it to provide more information about our famous 35-foot tree and its historic decorations.

You’ll also find new holiday cutouts in the park, with face openings cut into them for fun photo opportunities. Created by local craftsmen and artists, these elves are different sizes so the entire family can get into the picture and celebrate the holiday spirit any time of year.

Christmas Shopping in WaKeeney

Our Main Street light display continues to grow, too! LED perimeter lightsare being added to the top of the Trego County Courthouse to match the perimeter lights that were installed on the commercial buildings in 2018. These lights are displayed throughout the year, with colors that can be changed to celebrate different holidays and our local schools’ colors. 

Make Plans to Celebrate the Holidays in the “Christmas City of the High Plains”

Join us on Saturday, November 28, 2020 when Santa arrives at his brand-new house! The Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony is a free, annual outdoor event, and the light display will be visible nightly until after New Year’s Day 2021. Due to the current social distancing restrictions, the Virtual Reality Ride has been cancelled and please be sure to bring your mask and practice social distancing while at the event. 

Come celebrate 70 years of holiday spirit in the “Christmas City of the High Plains!” More events arebeing planned for the 2020 celebration, so check in with local sources for more information.

Explore the History of WaKeeney’s Famous Christmas Display

The Trego County Historical Society Museum’s celebration of the 70thanniversary of the “Christmas City of the High Plains” continues into its fourth month, with an exhibit that tells the story of Downtown WaKeeney’s famous Christmas display.

The Christmas tree in downtown WaKeeney in the 1950s.
Photo provided by Trego County Historical Society Museum.

The “Christmas City of the High Plains” Exhibit

Museum curators have been busy adding more items to their exhibit each month since its opening in July.  The exhibit has steadily been increasing in size, with each month exploring a different phase in the history of WaKeeney’s light display. 

In July, the museum featured Christmas tree inspired items, such as Christmas trees shaped cookie cutters, salt and pepper shakers, Christmas stockings, and many more items. Each month, fourteen more representations of Christmas trees are added until November, when the full collection of 70 items will complete the display. 

The tree’s construction and its ornaments were examined in the August exhibit, with several made to scale cardboard cutouts of the wreaths, bells, and stars available to view up close. Information cards further explore how two local community leaders, Art Keraus and J.H. “Jake” Heckman came up with the concept and rallied the Trego County community to lend their time, talents, and even heavy equipment to install the very first light display in 1950.

September’s addition to the exhibit took a look at the history of the official 1988 logo and the many different items that have promoted the “Christmas City of the High Plains” through the years.

The logo was created by WaKeeney native Tracey Deines Davis, cofounder of Duncan and Davis advertising firm. It has since been used on keychains, postcards, ornaments, mugs, and many other treasured keepsakes that remind us of special Christmases spent in WaKeeney.

Celebrate with Us in the “Christmas City of the High Plains”

Explore the history of WaKeeney’s spectacular Christmas light display with a trip to the Trego County Historical Museum! The exhibit will continue to explore a new theme every month until Saturday, November 28, 2020, when we will celebrate 70 years since WaKeeney’s first Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. The museum has created a scavenger hunt to find all the trees currently on display and visitors can check back each month to find the new trees that have been added to the display.Hope to see you there! 

Dressing Up for the 70th Anniversary of WaKeeney’s Christmas Tree

70 years logoThis year marks the 70thanniversary of the “Christmas City of the High Plains” and we are planning a celebration that will be bigger and more festive than ever before!

The WaKeeney “elves” are busy sprucing up the historic 1950 decorations and adding to the town’s many holiday attractions to make our town sparkle with holiday spirit and community pride.

You can become part of the effort, too!

 

“Too Lit to Quit” T-shirts

The “Too Lit to Quit” t-shirt is the official shirt celebrating the 70thanniversary of our annual Christmas event. It’s a nod toward the LED color-changing parimeter lights that were installed in 2018 during the “Get Lit” initiative. Today, you’ll find them brightening up Main Street throughout the year to celebrate holidays and events happening in our town.

The “Too Lit to Quit” t-shirts can be preordered now at the Bonfire online store, with a delivery time of 15 days. (Orders placed after the initial start date of July 15th will be filled in 15-day increments.) They come in grey/black, blue, purple, red, and Christmas green, with the official 70thanniversary and the “Too Lit to Quit” logos printed in white. The shirts can be ordered as a short sleeve or long sleeve shirt, in sizes Youth, to 3XL. The unisex classic crewneck style t-shirt is made from a long-lasting, durable 60-40 cotton/polyester blend that is combed and ringspun for a soft texture and premium feel. You can have them delivered to your home, or save on shipping charges by having them delivered to the central WaKeeney distribution point, Malay’s Market.

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The New Santa House

The proceeds from the sale of the shirts will go toward building the new Santa house in North Pole Park. This project has just gotten underway and promises to be a magical place where kids can tell their secret wishes to our annual guest of honor; Santa Clause!

Get the Christmas spirit started early by purchasing a “Too Lit to Quit” t-shirt and help us celebrate the 70thAnniversary of the Christmas City of the High Plains! The ceremony will be held on Saturday, November 28th, two days after Thanksgiving, in  Downtown WaKeeney!

Community Support in the “Christmas City of the High Plains”

Merry Christmas from the “Christmas City of the High Plains!”

People from around the world have come to WaKeeney to celebrate the holidays and make special memories with family and friends under the lights of our famous tree. Located on I-70 halfway between Kansas City and Denver, Colorado, it’s the perfect place for people to gather to celebrate the holiday season. Throughout the year our citizens contribute their time, talents, and funding to continue this wonderful tradition and we’d like to thank them and the organizations who make our Christmas Festival a one-of-a-kind event for everyone.

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Christmas in Downtown WaKeeney

Stringing up thousands of Christmas lights is never an easy job and it takes a team of professionals to get the job done right.

The effort begins long before the Christmas Festival on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Workers from the City of WaKeeney prepare the decorations, wrapping the lights and fresh greenery onto the tree’s metal framework and getting them ready to install. Then, along with workers from Midwest Energy, Western Cooperative Electric, KDOT, and Nex-Tech, they take to their bucket trucks to install everything within a couple of days. We truly appreciate their years of dedicated service to making this event happen, in rain, wind, and snow.

The business community of Downtown WaKeeneyhas supported the Christmas Festival faithfully for 69 years and by doing so have made WaKeeney a special place to celebrate the holidays. This year Christi Werth and Skylin Day at TWI Insurance Services were behind the planning of all the Santa’s Downtown Workshop activities—a fun event kids look forward to every year.

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The Festival Program

What would Christmas be without the sound of Christmas carols, holiday displays, and Christmas cheer? Volunteers from local organizations and private citizens generously offer their talents to create a festival program full of Christmas spirit. Along with the many supporting volunteers, this year we relied on Tom Kreutzer as our master of ceremonies, the Rev. Jon Anderson from the Zion Lutheran Church as our officiant representing the Trego County Ministerial Alliance, and Anita Schneider who led the crowd in singing our favorite Christmas carols.

 

Christmas Spirit Around Town

WaKeeney residents showed a lot of Christmas spirit in 2019 by decorating their homes and yards early with festive colors and lights. The merchants of Santa’s Downtown Workshop rewarded their efforts by holding a contest for the best decorated home. The winning homeowner received a prize of $100 in Wampum bucks they could use at any of the participating Downtown WaKeeney businesses.

Festival guests also had the opportunity to go back in time with the Trego County Historical Society Museum. The “Twelve Days of Christmas” display features Christmas scenes and décor from years past, including the original miniature prototype for the famous 35-foot tree located at the city’s center. The exhibit runs from November 30thto January 6th, so it’s not too late to see if something you remember from your grandma’s house is included!

The VFW Auxiliary kept all our guests warm at their annual Soup Supper. We’ve all come to look forward to the delicious bowls of homemade soup and desserts their members cook up to celebrate the community spirit. Nothing tastes better than a hot bowl of soup on a cold winter’s night!

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Christmas Shopping Made Easy

Christmas shopping was made easy this year when over forty vendors from the Trego Co. Home-Based Business Association offered their wares during the 19thAnnual Christmas Bazaar. This year’s event was so large it filled the Fairground’s Commercial and 4-H buildings, and the TCHS Commons area with products that ranged from home décor, to health and beauty. The Home-based vendors are an important part of our festivities and we appreciate all the work they do throughout the year to fill this event with their exciting products.

The merchants of Downtown WaKeeney continued their tradition of keeping their doors open for extended hours of shopping. They offered their customers great holiday specials and participated in “Santa’s Downtown Workshop” where children enjoyed different crafts and activities at each of their stores. They also added to the season of giving by sponsoring many giveaways and activities for our festival guests.

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Support from Our Local Officials

Support from the officials of the City of WaKeeney is vital to making the Christmas Festival a success. Mayor Kenneth Roy and our City Council Members: Irene Dirks, John Fose, Brandon Payne, Lynelle Shubert, and Allen Weigel and City Administrator Hardy Howard designate funding for the festival. They split the overall cost of supplies—the fresh greenery, light bulbs, etc.–with the Travel & Tourism Department and allow city employees to get them ready for installation.

As they do throughout the year, officers from the WaKeeney City Police Department and the Trego County Sheriff’s Department were present to help guide traffic and ensure that everyone had a safe holiday celebration. Their presence also provided members of our community a great opportunity to meet the people who keep us safe and prepare Child ID Kits for their children.

A special thank you goes to the members of WaKeeney’s Travel & Tourism Committee for the time and attention they dedicate to making the Christmas Festival a memorable event. Appointed by the City of WaKeeney, this volunteer,seven-member committee includes Lynelle Shubert, Tasha Malay, Skylin Day, Cindy Scanlon, Brianna LaMotte, Kirk Johnston, & Mark Wood and is led by its director, Cathy Albert. Their dedication is the foundation of everything we enjoy at the Christmas Festival.

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Our Special Guest: Santa Claus

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a visit from Santa Claus! Lynelle & John Shubert drove the man of the hour and his elf down Main St. accompanied by two local drummers, Dawson Arnold and Alex Cleland. After flipping the switch that turned on the tree’s lights, Santa and his elf visited with children at Gibson’s Health Mart, where they told him all their wishes for Christmas.

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Thanking the Community

Our gratitude extends to the entire community of WaKeeney for their continued support of the events surrounding the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. The traditions found in our “Christmas City of the High Plains” would not be possible without their participation. They’ve helped us and our guests celebrate and create treasured memories that will last a lifetime.

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Looking Forward to the 70thAnniversary Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in 2020

Next year will be extra special, as we celebrate seventy years as the “Christmas City of the High Plains.” In preparation, we will be building a new Santa House in North Pole Park, funded by a grant from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation. We are also continuing to sell the “Get Lit” t-shirts for $10 each to complete fundraising for the installation of perimeter lights on the Courthouse, a project planned for Spring 2020.

Thank you to all the people who have joined us in celebrating the holidays in WaKeeney, the “Christmas City of the High Plains!”

Celebrating the Holidays at WaKeeney’s 69th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting

It’s Christmastime in WaKeeney, Kansas!

Our community elves have decorated the streets of Downtown WaKeeney with garlands and greenery in anticipation of the 69th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on November 30th. It’ll be a day of holiday activities, community gatherings, and Christmas shopping to help you get ready for the Christmas season to come.

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Christmas Bazaar

Place: Trego County Fairgrounds & TCHS Commons

Time: 9 AM – 4 PM

Finding the perfect gift for your hard-to-buy-for friend is easy at the Trego County Home Based Business Association’s 2019 Christmas Bazaar. Vendors are offering a variety of household and beauty items, handmade Christmas decorations, and much, much more!Don’t forget to treat yourself to one of these festive finds!

This year the Bazaar has grown to fill three buildings; the Commercial and 4-H Buildings at the Fairgrounds, as well as the commons area inside the High School across the street. Along with vendor booths, there will be holiday music, door prizes, and a delicious lunch stand to keep you full while you shop.

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Twelve Days of Christmas Display

Place: Trego County Historical Society Museum

Time: 10 AM – 4 PM

Visit Christmas-past at the Trego County Historical Society Museum. The return of their special holiday display “The Twelve Days of Christmas” will be open to the public every day the museum is open from November 30thto January 6th. The collection features holiday and winter treasures from the past that many of us remember fondly from our parents’ and grandparents’ homes.

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FREE Santa’s Sleigh Virtual Reality Ride

Tickets: VFW Hall (Booth opens at 2:30 PM)

Time: 3 — 8:30 PM

Experience the excitement of riding in Santa’s sleigh with a turn at the virtual reality experience VR InMotion’s “Santa’s Sleigh Ride!”This popular attraction is a favorite among Trego’s residents, so get your FREE tickets at the VFW Hall before heading off to “sit” in the passenger seat of Santa’s sleigh.

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Live Reindeer

Place: Main Street

Time: 4 – 8 PM

Meet the animals Santa relies on to get his packages to everyone around the world. Our reindeer guests will be found on Main Street in Downtown WaKeeney. These ambassadors from the North Pole will be waiting, right along with all of us, for Santa’s arrival later under our Christmas tree.

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Child ID Kit

Place: VFW Hall

Time: 4 – 5:30 PM

Give yourself the gift of peace of mind this year by completing a child ID kit with the Trego County Sheriff’s Department for each of your children. The event is open to everyone and will ensure that your child’s information is up-to-date and handled safely.

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Soup Supper

Place: VFW Hall

Time: 4:30 PM

The community spirit is alive and well at the VFW Auxiliary’s Annual Soup Supper. Come one, come all to this communal meal and enjoy a delicious bowl of homemade soup and dessert made by the talent chefs of WaKeeney’s VFW. There will also be a raffle during the event.

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Santa’s Downtown Workshop

Place: Main Street

Time: 5 – 8 PM

Make the rounds of WaKeeney’s Downtown business community and fill your shopping cart with holiday cheer! Visit each store to find great holiday gift ideas, crafts for the kids, and games, snacks and drinks for everyone! Look for the “Santa’s Downtown Workshop” posters at participating businesses and enjoy some shopping time before Santa’s arrival.

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69thAnnual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Place: Main Street & Russell Avenue

Time: 6 PM

Gather together with friends and loved ones under WaKeeney’s 35-foot Christmas Tree to witness the big moment when the Christmas lights go on and our holiday season officially begins in WaKeeney! Throughout the four-blocks of Downtown WaKeeney you’ll find all the colors of the rainbow in swags, border lights and, of course, our beautiful tree in the center of it all. The lights stay on through the New Year to keep our spirits merry and light throughout the Holiday Season!

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Santa Claus Arrives with Children’s Treats

Place: North Pole Park

FREE Tickets: VFW Hall (Booth opens at 2:30 PM)

Time: 6:15 — 8:30 PM

Get your wish list ready for your visit to Santa! All the good boys and girls will have a chance to sit on the big guy’s lap inside his own “Santa’s workshop” located in North Pole Park on Main Street. Children can tell Santa what they want for Christmas, receive a treat, and check to see if they are on his “Nice” list.

 

The annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is held every year on the Saturday night following Thanksgiving. The lights will be turned on every night after that until after the New Year begins. Viewing our Downtown light display is always free to the public and visitors travel from miles around to enjoy the bright lights that decorate our town. It is considered one of the largest Christmas light displays in Kansas and gives WaKeeney the distinction of being “The Christmas City of the High Plains.”

Start the Christmas season with family and friends under WaKeeney’s Christmas lights on November 30that the 69thAnnual Christmas Tree Lighting! We’re conveniently located on I-70, halfway between Kansas City and Denver, 300 miles either direction.

Wrapping Up Your Christmas Shopping in Downtown WaKeeney

Get out that wrapping paper because it’s time to get your Christmas shopping list completed, and the best place to do that is in WaKeeney, the “Christmas City of the High Plains!”

Christmas Shopping in WaKeeney

Spend the day finding the perfect gifts for everyone on your list! Whether you have a Practical Patty or a Dashing Dan, our Downtown WaKeeney shops offer gifts that are sure to please everyone on your list. Check out our roster of businesses that have opened their doors to Christmas shoppers this season.

Christmas Shopping in WaKeeneyImage by: Rose Petal Cottage

Festive Seasonal Décor

Get in the holiday spirit with Christmas décor for your home. Rose Petal Cottage has your floral needs covered. Fresh flowers and greenery or custom-made centerpieces will have your home dressed and ready for your holiday celebration.

 

Images by: Gibson’s Healthmart and The Studio 128

Step into Gibson’s Healthmart for silk floral arrangements and pick up a few gifts, too! Gibson’s offers a large variety of products, from scented candles and jewelry, to premade wreaths and flower arrangements.

Cross the street to The Studio 128 for handmade holiday keepsake items. The Studio carries unique art pieces, as well as gift certificates for their art studio for the creative people in your life.

 

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Setting the Perfect Holiday Table

Get help with your holiday meal from Heartland Foods. With their fine selection of meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and everything in between, your table will be filled with delicious dishes that will be remembered all year long.

Don’t forget to include a few bottles of wine from Shiloh Vineyard. As Trego County’s only winery, it’s the best accompaniment to go along with a Christmas celebration you’ve begun in “The Christmas City of the High Plains.”

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Dressing Yourself Up for the Holidays

Do it up right at your next holiday gathering with the latest look from our fashion-forward retailers. Shear Designs, Gibson’s Healthmart, and Vintage Soul have clothing and jewelry that will let you sparkle and shine at all your holiday gatherings.

 

                              Images by: Gibsons Healthmart, Shear Designs, and P & G Designs

For a personalized gift, P & G Designs can personalize shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and most other fabric with an emblem of your favorite team or other image.  

 

                                Images by: New Creations Hair Salon and Lavonne’s Beauty Shop

Get party ready with a special look from New Creations Hair Salon and Lavonne’s Beauty Shop. Their stylists can help you look your best as you head out the door to your next big event.

 

Images by: Whats Not in Pine and the Main Street Giftery and Floral

When you are ready to help Santa with those gifts under the tree step into What Nots in Pine and Main Street Giftery and Floral for a gift that will bring a smile to everyone on your list. What Nots in Pine has beautiful hand-crafted items and Main Street Giftery carries a wide variety of fun gifts that will make your holiday light up. And, don’t forget those last minute stocking stuffers you’ll find at the WaKeeney Dollar General Store!

 

Images by: Clelands Pharmacy and Pit Road Liquor

The Perfect Hostess Gift

You won’t want to show up empty-handed to your next holiday party. Stop by Cleland Pharmacyto find everything you need to craft a gift package, or head to Pit Road Liquoror Earl Liquor Storefor a pre-packaged gift that will get the party started!

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Gifts for the Entire Family

Don’t leave it up to Santa to deliver the best gifts! Take a look at the great gift ideas, large and small, from Day Motor Sports, Dreher Automotive, and Wheatbelt Distributors.

Christmas Shopping in WaKeeneyImage by: Wheatbelt Distributors

Day Motor Sports and Dreher Automotive are both stocked with great gifts for your adrenaline junkie, and Wheatbelt Distributors and Keyser Hardware are great places to find gifts for those handy-type people in your life.

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Get the latest technology for your home at Nex-Tech. They have the newest phones and everything to go with them, plus security and life watch packages on the market.

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Deck your home with the newest pieces found on the showroom floor at Newcomer Furniture. From living rooms, to bedrooms; every room in the house will be refreshed with a brand-new piece from Newcomer’s.

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Treat Yourself!

Once you’ve got everyone on your shopping list checked off, relax at one of WaKeeney’s many delicious restaurants. The Western Kansas Saloon & GrillBrazen BullMike’s Place and Jake & Chet’s Café serve a full menu of plated meals that include burgers, steaks, salads and sandwiches. And, don’t forget to make a stop at   at Hometown Bakery for a delicious Christmas treat or the soda fountain at Gibsons Healthmart where you can order both hot and cold drinks, both on WaKeeney’s Main Street.

Go south-of-the-border at Tropical Mexican Restaurant or enjoy an Italian fest at our local Pizza Hut. For a quick meal stop in at Dairy Queen, McDonalds or Subway to satisfy your hunger pains as you head home from your day of shopping.

 

This year, make Downtown WaKeeney your Christmas Shopping headquarters and celebrate this wonderful season with us in “The Christmas City of the High Plains!”

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!”

Taking the “Christmas City of the High Plains” Into the Future

The work is already underway to install new LED Color-Changing Lights from Inception Lighting along the buildings of Downtown WaKeeney and soon our famous Christmas Festival will be brighter than ever, thanks to those who have contributed to the “Get Lit” campaign!

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Fundraising Efforts Turn on the Lights in Downtown WaKeeney

Through continued fundraising efforts, several generous donations from local citizens and businesses, sales of our campaign t-shirts and a grant from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation, these new LED Color-Changing Lights will be ready to light up the “Christmas City of the High Plains” in just a few short weeks from now! The City of WaKeeney is donating the labor to install the lights as well as the utility costs and Nex-Tech has donated the monthly WiFi fee to operate the lights. They are a welcome addition to the historic decorations featured in our famous holiday display, with color versatility and cost advantages that will go on throughout the year.

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Photo courtesy of Inception Lighting

Beauty and Benefits Added to Our Christmas Lights

The addition of the lights represents a new step in the history of holiday decorating in Downtown WaKeeney. New LED technologies provide benefits unimaginable in the early days of our Christmas Festival when Art Kraus and Jake Heckman hand-built the wreaths, bells, and stars wood cutouts that hang from the garlands strung across Main Street and Russell Avenue.

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Along with beauty and flexibility, these lights are easy to install, operate, and maintain, with lower overall costs for our community. The entire system is guaranteed to last for up to ten years and we’re expecting the overall cost savings will be in the thousands of dollars, with an estimated yearly utility bill of only $300!

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The Season of Giving Has Already Begun

Thank you to all the people, businesses, Nex-Tech, and the City of WaKeeney for donating their time and money to this effort to light up Downtown WaKeeney!

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There is still time to contribute to this community cause. A Go Fund Me  pagehas been set up for online contributions and the “Get Lit” shirts are available for purchase at The Studio 128 (128 Main St.) and Heartland Foods (401 Russell Ave). And, just like our famous Christmas lights, they come in six colors—red, green, yellow, grey, royal blue, and purple. They have the “Christmas City of the High Plains” logo on the front, and the “Get Lit” logo on the back and sell for $12 in S-XL and $15 for 2X.

Join us at the Dedication Ceremony When We Turn on the Lights!

Installation of the LED lights will take several weeks and plans are already set to turn the lights on as soon as they are done. We invite you to join us at the dedication ceremony scheduled for Saturday, November 24, 2018, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, at our“68th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.” It’s the perfect time to show our gratitude to all the fabulous people who have made this next step in our holiday celebration possible.

 

 

 

 

A Peaceful Vacation at the Country Barn Loft B & B

A comfortable bed, a delicious homemade breakfast, fresh country air, and a beautiful Kansas sunrise. This is the peaceful existence you can experience at Trego County’s newest lodging destination, the Country Barn Loft B & B.

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Lifetime county residents Jerry and Peggy White moved the historic 1951 barn onto their two-acre private property in 1999, and over the years it has served many purposes before taking on a new life as a bed & breakfast.

With an eye toward maintaining the look of a working barn, the Whites have chosen to use repurposed barn wood for the original arched ceiling and walls, and sliding “barn” style interior doors and ceiling fans complete the upscale country look of this historic building. There are eight beds available for guests, with four located in the upstairs hayloft suite where families can enjoy the large space in separate bedrooms under skylights that make the whole space feel light and airy.

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Quaint balconies on all four sides of the barn offer an expansive view of pastureland and farm ground. It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset on the western horizon as millions of stars fill the night sky. Listen close and you will hear songbirds, frogs, deer and many more animals calling to one another as you relax in your own prairie paradise.

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The Whites have upgraded the barn to include all the necessary facilities for your stay, including a kitchenette and bathroom in the hayloft suite. Take your time waking up with a fresh cup of coffee, free WiFi, and a homemade breakfast you’ve chosen from Peggy’s menu of delicious country dishes

“We enjoy meeting new people and look forward

to showing our guests what is special about country living.”

 Jerry White

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Outside you’ll find flower beds, a trellis bench in a “secret garden,” the White’s summer vegetable garden, a wooden swing and other areas to sit and read or just enjoy the peaceful rural setting. Onsite dog boarding is offered so your pets and hunting dogs can enjoy the serene landscape, too!

The Country Barn Loft is located only a few miles from Cedar Bluff State Park and Reservoir, Trego County’s best place for water skiing, jet skiing, hiking and fishing for catfish, walleye, crappie, bass, and more. Wild game hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities are also found throughout the area.

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Take a 15-minute drive into WaKeeney to enjoy the many restaurants and shops in our historic Downtown or enjoy a day in one of our beautiful parks. In the summertime, your kids will love taking a dip in WaKeeney’s Water Park.

Book your stay during one of the many county-wide festivals held throughout the year. The Trego County Fair is the highlight of the summer and, beginning with WaKeeney’s annual Christmas festival held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and continuing through the month of December, our famous holiday lights brighten up the “Christmas City of the High Plains.”

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Next time you’re searching for a peaceful setting in a country escape make the journey to Trego County’s Country Barn Loft B & B!