City manager discusses events planned during pandemic

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

While many events have been canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Leavenworth city commissioners were briefed this week about three community events that may take place later this year.

During a meeting Tuesday, City Manager Paul Kramer reviewed events that may take place in October, November and December including holiday themed events.

“We’re not canceling Christmas,” he said.

But he said the city will cancel some events including the annual Breakfast with Santa because they are not conducive to social distancing.

One event the city is looking at hosting next month is a Trunk-or-Treat event.

It is tentatively scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Oct. 24 at Sportsfield.

Kramer said the Leavenworth parks and recreation director and police chief have discussed this event. And it is believed the city can host the event while meeting Leavenworth County Health Department guidelines.

“It can be outdoors, so we can spread it out,” Kramer said.

He presented commissioners with a proposed map for the event.

“We’re confident we can do it safely,” he said.

In previous years, the Leavenworth Parks and Recreation Department has organized a Haunted Depot event at the Riverfront Community Center. But Kramer said the Trunk-or-Treat event next month would not include a haunted house.

Kramer also discussed the Leavenworth County Veterans Day Parade, which typically takes place Nov. 11 in downtown Leavenworth.

While the parade requires approval from the city, Kramer said the event at this point is in the hands of the Leavenworth County Veterans Day Parade Committee. The committee organizes the parade each year.

“Right now, it is not canceled,” Kramer said. “We are seeing how we can do it.”

He suggested there may be a way to have a smaller parade this year that focuses on veterans.

“It is also outside,” he said.

But Kramer said there is some concern about bringing a large number of people to the downtown area.

He said the parade committee is coordinating with Fort Leavenworth to determine the Department of the Army’s position on participation is this type of event.

If the Army does not give its blessing, this may change how the committee moves forward, Kramer said.

Kramer said city officials are scheduled to meet with committee members today.

Commissioner Mark Preisinger said the parade likely will attract a large crowd unless the temperature that day is less then 20 degrees.

“There will be some challenges there that have to be worked out,” he said.

Preisinger said he hopes the parade takes place. He called the parade an institution in Leavenworth.

The parade celebrated its 100th anniversary last year.

Kramer also discussed the city’s annual Holiday Lighted Parade and Mayor’s Tree Lighting.

The city manager said these two events, which typically take place on the same evening, will be very limited this year. But he said the city will do something to mark the Christmas season.

“We’re going to do something,” he said.

Kramer invited ideas from members of the community. He said Leavenworth officials also will look at what other cities are doing.

Commissioner Nancy Bauder asked if fireworks can be part of the holiday event. She noted that at one time fireworks accompanied the mayor’s annual tree lighting.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR

In other business

The Leavenworth City Commission:

• Reached a consensus to grant permission for a door at the Performing Arts Center, which is commonly known as the Hollywood Theater, to be painted by an artist as part of Leavenworth Main Street Program’s First City Passageways Project.

• Received a presentation about a program that can be used to help keep track of required inspections of fire protection systems in the city.

• Received a quarterly report about Leavenworth public schools from Superintendent Mike Roth.