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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Let the fun begin

  • Leavenworth celebrated the Christmas season Friday evening with the Holiday Lighted Parade and Mayor's Holiday Tree Lighting.
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  • Leavenworth celebrated the Christmas season Friday evening with the Holiday Lighted Parade and Mayor's Holiday Tree Lighting.
    The downtown Holiday Lighted Parade, which was sponsored by the Leavenworth Main Street Program, featured lighted floats.
    Wendy Scheidt, Leavenworth Main Street's executive director, said ahead of the parade that she was expecting about 20 entries.
    Riding in a sleigh with Santa at the end of Friday's parade was Nathaniel Herken, the winner of a first-grade Santa Claus free-hand drawing contest. Herken helped throw a switch to light the Mayor's Holiday Tree.
    The tree lighting ceremony, which followed the parade, was coordinated by the Leavenworth Parks and Recreation Department.
    Leavenworth Mayor Larry Dedeke noted that this marked the first time the Parks and Recreation Department had held the event at Haymarket Square.
    "And it looks like it's going to work well," Dedeke said.
    Col. Timothy Wulff, garrison commander at Fort Leavenworth, and garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Crawford also were on hand for the tree lighting.
    Wulff said this time of year is an especially tough time for a soldier to be away from his family. But he said soldiers' families are being taken care of. He thanked the community for its support.
    He asked audience members to keep in their thoughts and prayers soldiers who are doing their duty "down range," wounded warriors and families of fallen soldiers.
    Billy Blackwell, the mayor-elect of Lansing, also spoke at the tree lighting ceremony. He invited audience members to Lansing's tree lighting, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sunday at the Lansing Community Center.
    He also asked each person to find someone to be good to this holiday season.
    Jennifer Daly, president of the Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce, encouraged people Friday to support local businesses. She said local businesses are the heart and soul of a community.
    Friday's tree lighting ceremony included entertainment by soloist Madii Patten, Leavenworth High School choir students, a quartet from the Cody Choraliers and choirs from Earl M. Lawson and Anthony elementary schools.
    Local music teacher Laura Moyers also performed as a ventriloquist.
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