City officials will be kicking off the holiday season Friday with the annual Leavenworth Lighted Parade and Mayor’s Tree Lighting.

City officials will be kicking off the holiday season Friday with the annual Leavenworth Lighted Parade and Mayor’s Tree Lighting.

The festivities will begin at 4 p.m. with a Holiday Mart at Haymarket Square, which is located Seventh and Cherokee streets.

“There will be lots of vendors, a bounce house,” said Tammy Metzgar, an organizer of Friday’s festivities.

She said the holiday market will continue until 8 p.m.

The parade, which will featured lighted floats, will begin at 5:30 p.m.

The parade will follow a different route this year. The parade will begin at Fifth and Shawnee streets, next to Leavenworth City Hall. The parade will travel south to Delaware Street and then head west. The parade will turn south at Seventh Street, stopping at Haymarket Square.

Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens said the primary reason for the change to the parade route is safety. He said there were couple of “close calls” during the last couple of years of the parade.

As of Monday afternoon, about 20 entries were signed up for the parade. But Metzgar said entries will be accepted until 5 p.m. today.

Visit the city’s website, www.lvks.org, for more information about participating in the parade.

The Mayor’s Tree Lighting program will begin immediately after the conclusion of the parade. The ceremony will take place at Haymarket Square.

The program will feature guest speakers as well as a performance by a choir from Richard Warren Middle School.

The winner of a Santa Claus freehand coloring contest for local first-graders will help Leavenworth Mayor Nancy Bauder throw the switch to light the tree.

Metzgar said a light show set to music will begin with the lighting of the tree.

“It looks like we’re going to have pretty good weather for Friday,” Metzgar said.

A National Weather Service forecast for Friday in Leavenworth calls for a high near 67 degrees.

“We hope everybody will come out and enjoy all of the festivities and have a great time,” Metzgar said.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR