Archive for Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Downtown makes preparations for Santa’s arrival

A Lawrence Christmas tradition dating back to the 1970s comes back to town this week.

November 25, 2008


A Christmas tradition that’s lasted more than 30 years will continue Friday when Santa Claus arrives in downtown Lawrence.

As always, the first person to greet the man in red will be a Lawrence firefighter. At 6:15 p.m. Santa is expected to magically appear on the roof of Weaver’s Department Store, 901 Mass., and be rescued via fire truck ladder.

Santa then will make his way to a stage in front of US Bank, 900 Mass., where he will visit with children and pose for pictures.

Thousands of people traditionally gather downtown in the area of Ninth and Massachusetts streets for the event.

“It gets pretty crowded,” Downtown Lawrence director Jane Pennington said.

Activities leading to Santa’s arrival begin at 5 p.m.

“We’ll have the Vaudeville clown and strolling singers,” Pennington said.

The strolling singers will be two groups, the Dickens Carolers and the Yuletide Carolers, also known by the name Sassie Mae and the Cornertones. They will move to the stage at the bank at 5:30 p.m. for more singing.

At 6 p.m. Lawrence Mayor Mike Dever will read a proclamation declaring Nov. 28 Red Kettle Kick-off Day, referring to the Salvation Army’s annual holiday season fundraising drive.

A countdown to turning on the downtown Christmas lights will precede Santa’s arrival.


Danimal 9 years, 4 months ago

I'm sure the Caroling Hobos will be out as well.

spammer89 9 years, 4 months ago

Caroling on the street "jingle bells, jingle bells, that bum smells"

observing 9 years, 4 months ago

Let's hope that this year Jane spares everyone from that horrible comercialized "12 days of christmas shopping" nonsense we had to endure last year. This Santa rescue is a wonderful tradition that's pretty unique to Lawrence. When the carolers were out last year, it was a really nice touch. Then suddenly the stage was covered with the ubiquitous "sponsor" signage all over....which seems to plague every event in Lawrence that was once commercial free and special....and then they starting singing that ridiculous song about all of the downtown merchants. It completely wrecked the mood. As a big supporter and shopper of downtown, I was really disheartened that they sank so low. I've watched the downtown group go quickly downhill since this new director has been there, so can only imagine that she had something to do with writing that irritating song. Anyway...this year, could we just acknowledge that lots of downtown businesses helped put it on & leave it at that? It's a great, sweet, family time that you don't need to commercialize like everything else seems to be. Meanwhile...what do you really need so many sponsors for anyway? Hopefully sponsorship money doesn't just go for making sponsor signs and t-shirts like it seems to at most events...

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