The holiday season is fast approaching with multiple lighting ceremonies scheduled for the coming weeks to create a festive atmosphere in Platte County.
Parkville’s celebration kicks off Thursday, Nov. 17 with the Gallery of Trees, a fundraiser for Christmas on the River. The evening features a silent and live auction, dinner, music, awards, holiday spirits and more. Gallery of Trees, organized by volunteers from Main Street Parkville Association, is Christmas on the River’s biggest fundraiser. Tickets cost $25 per person and may be bought through the Parkville Main Street Association website at parkvillemo.org.
Christmas on the River itself will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18 in downtown Parkville.
Admission is free to the event, which features live entertainment, including the Park Hill School District’s children’s choir, food and craft vendors, Santa Claus and a holiday fireworks show over the Missouri River. The event stage and vendors will be located at the city parking lots near English Landing Park, and Parkville businesses and restaurants will be open later than normal for the celebration.
Santa Claus will come to town that night in his very own decorated tiny house with appearances scheduled throughout the holiday season. Santa will visit with guests from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18 during Christmas on the River.
A full schedule of his appearances is available at parkvillemo.org. All proceeds benefit Boy Scout Troop 333.
The Zona Rosa Northern Lights ceremony will begin with live entertainment at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19. The lighting ceremony will be at 6 p.m. at Town Square and will feature the 50-foot Christmas tree and the large lighted crowns over the streets of the outdoor shopping center.
The free event features the official arrival of Santa Claus and the Fairy Princess as well as holiday crafts for kids and performances from the Platte County High School choir at 5:30 p.m.
The Fairy Princess will greet children every day through Dec. 1 at her Winter Wonderland in the Marshall’s building. Santa Claus will take over the Winter Wonderland with appearances from Dec. 3-24.
The igloo featured in the Wonderland was originally part of an exhibit at the Kansas City Museum titled Eskimoland that opened in November 1954 and remained open until the early 1980s. Zona Rosa teamed with the Kansas City Museum in 2009 to bring the igloo back as a Christmas tradition.
A full schedule of appearances by Santa and the Fairy Princess is available at zonarosa.com.
Santa Claus will come to Platte City on Wednesday, Nov. 23. The annual community event, themed “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” this year, is free of charge.
The Platte City Middle School honor choirs, the Platte County High School concert choir, the Platte City Community Band Brass Ensemble and the high school flute ensemble will perform starting at 5:30 p.m. in downtown Platte City on the steps of the Platte County Courthouse.
The countdown to turn on the holiday lights will be at 6 p.m.
The Citizen’s coloring contest winners will be named and the Platte County Commission and mayor or Platte City will issue holiday greetings. Platte County High School senior Tori Farr, the 2016 Christmas Princess, will be introduced and winners of the Main Street Holiday Decorating Contest will be announced.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit with kids in the Platte County Administration Building with a professional photographer on hand. Santa’s reindeer can be visited at the corner of Third and Main streets.
Other activities include face painting, children’s rides, carriage rides, crafts and tours at the Ben Ferrel Museum at Third and Ferrel streets. Each room in the museum has been adopted and decorated by a different area organization.
Visitors to the museum can meet the Christmas Princess and enjoy a flute ensemble
The Main Street Game is also back, offering an adventure for kids as they search to find the nine locations named on the game board. Children will receive a sticker at each location until their board is complete.
Completed game boards are then turned in at the Platte City Area Chamber of Commerce office (620 Third St) or the Central Platte Fire Protection District Station to be placed in a box to draw for prizes. Food will be available at downtown restaurants, as well as at the fire station.
The City of Riverside will also hold a lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1 in the parking lot next to Corner Café. The Riverside branch of Mid-Continent Public Library will hold story time with Santa and Mrs. Claus at 5 p.m.