Holiday events lined up this week at Parkville, Zona Rosa, Platte City

BRYCE MERENESS/Citizen photo Father Christmas presided over the lighting of the tree at the old train depot during a ceremony Saturday, Nov. 14 in Weston, Mo. While the City of Weston started the holiday lighting season this past weekend, the next week offers plenty more chances to get in the Christmas spirit.

The City of Parkville, Zona Rosa and the City of Platte City will host upcoming events offering the chance to visit with Santa Claus (and his reindeer), see fireworks and of course watch the lights come on. Parkville’s Christmas on the River is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 20 with Zona Rosa holding its Northern Lights Holiday Lighting Ceremony the following day.

Platte City’s annual lighting ceremony, themed “Starry, Starry Night,” will be on Wednesday, Nov. 25 — the day before Thanksgiving.

Set to begin at 5:30 p.m., Platte City’s festivities will again be along Main Street. Santa’s reindeer, horse-drawn carriage rides and other family friendly activities will be available. The event is free of charge with lighting to take place at 6 p.m. on the Platte County Courthouse steps.

The Barry School and Platte City Middle School honor choirs will also perform on the courthouse steps while the Platte City Community Band brass ensemble (corner of Third and Main streets) and flute ensemble (inside the Ben Ferrel Museum) will also be on hand. Other highlights include recognition of the Pirates R.O.C.K. Character Ed students, the announcement of The Citizen coloring contest winners, and a holiday greeting from both Platte City mayor Frank Offutt and members of the Platte County Commission.

Emma Reynolds, the 2015 Christmas Princess, will be introduced, and Offutt will announce the first winner of the Main Street Holiday Decorating Contest. The Christmas Princess will be available for visits at the Ben Ferrel Museum, which will also have rooms decorated by local organizations with the Starry, Starry Night theme built into each display.

Santa and Mrs. Claus are scheduled to arrive at approximately 6:02 p.m., heading straight to the lobby of the Platte County Government Offices where kids can visit with a professional photographer on hand to take pictures for a fee. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen — four of Santa’s reindeer — can be viewed on Third Street, west of the courthouse. The horse drawn carriage rides will begin just after the lighting and Santa’s arrival.

Other activities include professional face painting (inside City Hall), balloon art and children’s rides. A mini fire truck and mini train run throughout the evening carrying children of all ages on a ride through downtown. Make-and-take children’s holiday crafts are located in the Baptist Church education building at 229 Main St.

Finally, the Main Street game board allows children to receive a sticker at each location until the board is complete. Completed game boards are then turned in at the Platte City Chamber of Commerce office or the Central Platte Fire Station to be placed in a box to draw for prizes.

Complimentary hot cocoa, cider, coffee, popcorn, cotton candy, cookies, trail mix, doughnut holes and a hot chocolate bar will be available, and fire and police personnel will serve hot dogs, chips and water at no cost. The hot chocolate bar will be available inside the Farm Bureau office, while Platte City Flower and Gift will be providing the fresh made cotton candy.

The Pool Hall will also be open with cheeseburgers on special — buy one, get one 50 percent off. Main Street Pet Resort booth will offer treats to both pets and pet owners.

The 23rd annual Christmas on the River will also have free admission and will include live entertainment, activities, food and drink and the famous holiday fireworks. The Park Hill School District children’s choir will be among the performers.

Shuttle service from Park University, Park Hill South High School and Platte County Community Center South will run to downtown Parkville starting at 6 p.m. and go until 11 p.m.

Santa’s House and the children’s Christmas activity village both open at 6 p.m., with Santa available until 8 p.m. and activities going until 10 p.m. Main stage entertainment starts at the same time and will run until 9 p.m. The fireworks are scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. Hay rides in English Landing Park will be from 6 to 9 p.m.

Zona Rosa’s lighting ceremony, also free, will be held at approximately 6 p.m. The large crowns will be hung over the shopping center’s roadway along with a 50-foot Christmas tree in the main square. The Holiday Fairy Princess and Santa Claus will be available for visits.