Shawnee holiday events gearing up, tree lighting set for Friday night

Vicky O. Misa
The Shawnee News-Star
Shown in this file photo during Shawnee's 2018 tree lighting ceremony Santa visits local children before the big day.

This evening officially opens Shawnee's holiday season with the city's annual Christmas tree-lighting event.

Grove's seventh- and eighth-grade school band will get residents in the mood to usher in the holidays starting at 6:45 p.m. at Celebration of Life Park on the 300 block of Main Street — directly south of the public library.

At 7:15, choir performances will begin, featuring Will Rogers Elementary, Jefferson Elementary and Horace Mann Elementary students. Lighting of the Christmas tree is set for 8 p.m.

In this 2018 file photo, residents gather downtown, along Main Street, for the annual tree lighting ceremony.

During the festivities at the park, it is expected that downtown merchants, food trucks and mobile vendors will offer their wares.

Free stage coach rides and the Express Clydesdale horses also will be among the featured attractions.

When is this year's annual Shawnee Christmas parade?

According to SEFF's website, at seffshawnee.org, the annual Christmas parade is set to begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2. SEFF has chosen a “Christmas in Toyland 21” theme for floats and entrants for the event this year.

As usual, the parade will travel along Main Street from Beard to Minnesota, and stages and performers are expected to line the route so attendees can spread out and see the attractions better.

Shown in this 2019 file photo, Shawnee residents experience the city's first time to feature a fireworks display at its Christmas parade event.

Performers will entertain the crowd, starting at 6 p.m. until the parade reaches each of the stages along the route on Main.

In a still-new tradition — not counting last year's workaround event due to COVID-19 restrictions — the new attraction introduced in 2019 will be back after Santa has made his appearance at the end of the parade. Once the floats are off the route, residents will be encouraged to stick round and gather onto Main Street to watch a music-backed fireworks display.

Shown in this 2019 file photo, a live Nativity scene is hosted annually at Redeemer Lutheran Church.

What time is Shawnee's live Nativity event?

Redeemer Lutheran Church, at 39307 W. MacArthur, in Shawnee, will again be hosting its annual live Nativity this year. The event is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 at the church.

Typically the event offers several activities, including: Christmas carolers, free cookies and drinks, as well as crafts for children and a gift shop to check out.

For story ideas, questions or concerns, reporter Vicky O. Misa can be reached at vicky.misa@news-star.com.

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