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Archive for Friday, November 23, 2012

Lights, Santa, Action!

Downtown kicks off holiday season

Kamden Robson, 15 months, watches the spectacle of Santa's arrival on the roof of Weaver's as he sits on his the shoulders of his uncle Taylor Stuart, Lawrence, during the annual Downtown Holiday Lighting Ceremony and Santa Rescue, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012 outside Weaver's Department Store, 901 Massachusetts. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo

Kamden Robson, 15 months, watches the spectacle of Santa's arrival on the roof of Weaver's as he sits on his the shoulders of his uncle Taylor Stuart, Lawrence, during the annual Downtown Holiday Lighting Ceremony and Santa Rescue, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012 outside Weaver's Department Store, 901 Massachusetts. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo

November 23, 2012

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Though Thanksgiving leftovers had barely cooled, downtown Lawrence was beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

On Friday evening, more than a thousand people braved 30-degree weather in front of Weaver’s Department Store, 901 Massachusetts St., to watch the annual Downtown Lawrence Holiday Lighting Ceremony and Santa Rescue.

The cast of Theatre Lawrence’s “Sound of Music” led the crowd in carols, Mayor Bob Schumm turned on the city Christmas lights, and Old Saint Nick himself made an appearance on top of Weaver’s.

Amidst hundreds of bundled-up children chanting “Santa,” a Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical ladder truck extended firefighters to the roof of the store to lower Santa onto Massachusetts Street so he could take gift requests from Lawrence children.

“It reinforces the Lawrence commitment to family and kids,” said Kelly Jimenez, of Lawrence, as she held her son Jude close to her. As for why she came out: “It’s been a tradition since we have had kids. I really like the community feel and the hometown, small-town feel.”

Jude, 8, was more worried about Santa Claus than a slice of Americana. He planned on asking for a fifth-generation iPod Touch and was confident he had been good enough receive such a present.

“I picked up my shoes,” he said matter-of-factly.

Jude and other children weren’t the only ones who will get a few presents.

Cathy Hamilton, director of Downtown Lawrence Inc., said the event helps draw business to downtown stores on a day when many people crowd shopping malls.

“It’s great for downtown merchants,” she said. “Plus it’s such a memory for the kids to have.”

Comments

tomatogrower 2 years ago

I too think they should shut down those blocks for the evening. It would be just for a couple of hours.

ksjayhawk74 2 years ago

This story skips the hilarious part of the story when the Fire Departments first attempt to get Santa off the roof failed. It looked like they were having some technical difficulties moving the ladder. So for a few minutes it looked like they weren't going to be able to do it and people were leaving. Obviously they did figure it out and got Santa down, thus saving Christmas for Lawrence.

geekin_topekan 2 years ago

I think they should chuck a dummy-Santa overboard before saving the real Santa.

That'd be hilarious. National news hilarious.

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