Santa Claus may need to find a bigger sleigh this year.
Children waiting for his arrival at the corner of Ninth and Massachusetts streets Friday night had some mighty big gift requests for him, including 10-year-old Skye Yoder's request for a piano.
Santa's highly anticipated appearance atop Weaver's Department Store, 901 Mass., was part of the city's downtown holiday lighting ceremony, an annual tradition that kicks off the season.
Kathleen Christian and her grandson Sebi Brown, 7, have shared the tradition for the past seven years.
"The town comes down and everybody's together enjoying this; you meet new people, you see people you know," Christian said. "It's just a real festive time of year."
It was clear they were veterans of the ceremony. They sat in their lawn chairs with blankets and played an Old Maid card game to keep them busy until Santa arrived.
But just how does Santa get on top of Weaver's?
"I think he uses his reindeers," Sebi said.
However he appeared, Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical personnel were there to bring him to the ground, where hundreds of people waited and watched.
Paislea Bean, 6, and McKenna Bean, 5, were especially excited, waving at Santa from the corner the whole time with their foster mother, Kim Murphy.
After decorating Christmas stockings and doing some holiday shopping together, Murphy said she was ready for the ceremony.
"I always consider this the first day of the holiday season," she said.
The evening also featured the Dickens Carolers, the Kaw Valley Fife and Drum Corps and Captain Kettle, The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign mascot.
Mayor Sue Hack proclaimed the commencement of The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign. Salvation Army Lt. Wes Dalberg said this was the city's 121st Christmas campaign to raise money for the needy in Douglas County.
"Although we've been out for two weeks, we're kicking off the effort in earnest tonight," he said.