Christmas in the Park Dec. 7: Family Fun For Free

The big rock shelter house at Gunn Park is lit by Christmas as part of Christmas in the Park in 2017.

Christmas in the Park 2019  organizers hope to provide the community with a great holiday experience, according to Tom Robertson, one of the event coordinators. Robertson is the director of the Fort Scott Recreation Center. He and Diana Mitchell are spearheading the annual event.

Food, entertainment, crafts, and photo opportunities are provided with help from the City of Fort Scott many community volunteers who donate time and materials.

“If you haven’t been before, come,” Mitchell said. “It’s a wonderful evening. Where else can you go and spend three hours and it cost nothing.”


The event will take place on December 7th from 5 – 8 p.m. at Gunn Park.


The activities include chili for the family, a live band by Danny Brown Christmas music,  real reindeer for viewing, a live nativity by Bethel Community Church,  Christmas crafts for children to make, and a visit with Santa, portrayed by James Wood.


New this year is a coffee/hot chocolate bar with all the fixings and a selfie bar for fun family photos.


“The selfie bar will be provided by the Terrell Vann family,” Mitchell said. “You can hold crazy things up with a backdrop.”


Bring the camera for many other photo opportunities with Santa and real reindeer, Mitchell said.


All participants will be bussed into Gunn Park from parking lots at the Fort Scott Community College Nursing Department at 8th and Burke Street and the Fort Scott Professional Building at  8th and Osbun Street. Fort Scott Community College, USD 234, and some nursing homes are providing busses.


“We bus for the safety of participants,” Mitchell said. “Traditionally, there are about 1,600 people there.”


Some adventurous people walk into the park, she said.


“And that is acceptable, it is three-fourths of a mile to the center of the park,” Mitchell noted.


There will be long lines to some of the activities and patience is asked of participants.


The event is coordinated by members of the community in conjunction with the City of Fort Scott, according to Robertson.


The Fort Scott Police Department, the Fort Scott Fire Department, Fort Scott Community College, individual families, Winfield Scott Elementary School first-grade teachers and the Eye Center all are a part of the annual event.


“We want to provide a great holiday experience in a beautiful park in Fort Scott,” Robertson said. “It will allow our patrons to eat, listen to Christmas music, make crafts, decorate a sugar cookie, pet a live reindeer and of course… see Santa.”


Gunn Park will be closed to the public from Wednesday,  Dec. 4 until the event to prepare for the event, Mitchell said.

The following is where the activities are scheduled:

Park at parking lots and buses will pick up attendees at those sites.

Shelter 1-chili will be served.

Outside of a tent near this shelter will be the live band, provided by Danny Brown playing Christmas music. Inside the tent will be the hot chocolate/coffee bar and kids can decorate a cookie.

Shelter 2- the selfie bar is provided for photo opportunities, bring your camera.

Outside of the selfie bar will be live reindeer from Towanda, KS.

Shelter 6-Santa will be available for listening to Christmas requests.

Shelter 7-Christmas crafts for children sponsored by Buck Run Community Center.

Buses will transport attendees back to the parking lot to their cars.

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