Christmas In The Park Dec. 2

Christmas In The Park is an event that will entertain your family with beautiful lights, a chili feed, a visit with Santa,  craft-making for the children, and gift card giveaways, ALL FOR FREE, according to Diana Mitchell, a member of the organizing committee.

Gunn Park will be closed November 30 through December 3 because of the community event.

Thursday, November 30 will be set up and decorate day for the weekend event.

Friday, December 1 will be a private showing of the park for Moonlight and Mistletoe participants of the Homes for the Holidays Tour. Tickets can be purchased from the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center 231 E. Wall Street for $35 including the weekend homes tours.

The public event will start at 5 p.m. Saturday, December 2.  December 3 is the takedown and clean up day.

Mitchell, Todd Farrell, and Tom Robertson are the committee that is spearheading the event. For more information about the event, contact Robertson at Buck Run Community Center, 620-223-0386.

All the picnic shelter houses in the park will be lighted, and the road lined with 1500 luminaries. Because of the luminaries, there will be no walk-in or drive-through visitors allowed that evening. Transportation is provided in buses and vans picked up at nearby designated parking lots.

Shelter No. 3 will be a place for families come for photograph opportunities. The stone shelter will be warmed with fireplaces, trees, and lights for use as a background in photos. Families supply their own cameras.

Also at Shelter No. 3, there will be a gift card giveaway signup.

“Only one winner per household, but everyone can sign up,” Mitchell said. The downtown Fort Scott merchant gift cards range from $30 to $150, and one need not be present to win.

Shelter No. 5 will be a chili supper cooked up by the Fort Scott Fire Department.

Between Shelter No. 3 and No. 5 Bethel Community Church will be performing a live nativity scene.

At Shelter No. 6, children can visit with Santa Claus.

Shelter No. 7 will be a place for children to decorate cookies and make other take-home crafts.

Parking for the event will be located at the Mercy Clinic on Horton Street, the Fort Scott Community College Nursing Department on Burke Street and the Professional Building at Burke and 8th Street.

All vehicles must park in the designated parking lots, for safety reasons.

“Please don’t park in front of peoples houses, use these parking lots,” Mitchell said. “At those lots, people will be picked up in buses and vans.”

“We can drop off people at different shelters. We will transfer you around to see all the park for your fun and enjoyment,” she said.

Mitchell encourages everyone to be patient.

“It could be a little wait, but be patient,” Mitchell said. “Enjoy a free, fun family evening.”

The event is run by volunteers from the FS Fire Department and Police Department, Fort Scott Community College athletes, and Fort Scott Kiwanis. Larry Gazaway is providing the music throughout the park and Rhonda Dunn is organizing the transportation piece.

Two businesses are decorating shelters, Todd and I are decorating the others,” Mitchell said.

“If you haven’t been to Christmas In The Park, it’s amazing,” Mitchell said. “It’s a beautiful park, but when it’s decorated, it’s spectacular.”

“Enjoy a wonderful time of year, without a penny in your pocket,” she said.

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