First Ever Christmas on the Bricks: Something For Everyone

The inaugural Christmas on the Bricks Festival is this weekend and behind the scenes, the committee has been working like elves in Santa’s workshop. Today is the deadline for parade entry and sponsorship gathering, see at end of the feature.

“There will be a variety of things that people can do,” Diane Striler, Elevate Fort Scott Christmas Chairman said. “It will be a unique event that people will want to come back to each year.”

The group formed in the spring of 2023, and there are several committees.

Beside Striler, on the Christmas on the Bricks committee are Lindsay Madison, Brad Matkin, and Josh Jones.

“Brad Matkin wanted to start a group to bring awesome things to the community,” Striler said. The group started talking about Christmas. “Brad saw cutouts for photo opportunities at Branson (MO.) I love Christmas and said ‘Let me help with that!’, ” she said.

“So many people have helped out,” Striler said. “Denise Beaman is helping with the Fort Scott Downtown Christmas Tree Contest for businesses. The city workers are helping downtown get ready for the event. Mid Continental Restoration is supplying generators for the booths that will be set up downtown. Southeast Kansas Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC) instructors and students designed the booths, and Structural Panel Innovations (SPI) cut the walls for the booths. Niece Products made and donated the firepits that will be used for making s’mores.”

Many, many people have donated time, expertise, or materials to the event, she said.

Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce has had a Christmas Parade for years, ending with the lighting of the huge Mayor’s Christmas Tree at the end of North Main Street.

This year has been added St. Mary’s Catholic School students (Fort Scott)  will be singing at the lighting ceremony, and fireworks will go off as the tree is lit.

Striler said she is a TV Hallmark Channel fan and many of her ideas have come from those romantic drama movies.

One of the first things Striler did was to find horse-drawn carriages that would give rides. “We have Orange Star Carriages from Arkansas who are bringing three carriages. The cost is $40 for four people, with small children sitting on a lap for free. We are encouraging people to pre-register ahead of time. They will be at Wall and Scott Avenue (the depot building) from 6 to 10 p.m.”

The downtown businesses will be open until  8 p.m. each evening.

Businesses are competing in a Christmas tree decorating contest. “This will bring awareness to the businesses downtown. The public can vote at the Courtland Hotel at 1st and Scott Street,” she said.

Vendor booths will be selling “Quality Christmas-related items, that don’t compete with our businesses,” she said.

There will be a public information booth on Wall Street.

At that booth will be sold Fort Scott Christmas on the Bricks commemorative items, including t-shirts and sweatshirts (price range $30 to $55) and mini-brick Christmas ornaments created by the Artificers owners, Kate and Trent Freeman, which will sell for $20.

Striler said she has been “asking God to handle the little things and the weather.”

The following is provided by the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce:

Click HERE for a printable PDF copy of the flyer.

Click HERE for more details on the individual activities listed.

Events that require pre-registration include:
* Horse-drawn Carriage Rides
* Candlelight Tours of the Fort
* Gingerbread House Making Contest
* Christmas Paint Party at Pizza Republic
* Floral Centerpiece Making Class

For places to stay during the event: click here


The organizers for the Christmas on the Bricks want to recognize the event sponsors.

To be added to the sponsors for promotion, printed signs, and materials for the event, contact the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce today, Monday, November 27 by 1 p.m.


From the Chamber press release:

The festival will be packed full of holiday cheer, events, shopping, and activities for all ages with aspirations to be a destination for an Old-Fashioned Christmas.

The weekend will kick off with the“Candy Land Christmas” Parade of Lights on Thursday, November 30th at 6 pm, followed by the Lighting of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree, Music by St. Mary’s School Choir, Holiday Fireworks, and Pictures with Santa insideBe the Light Boutique at 12 N. Main St.

Click here to enter the parade by 1 pm on 11/27!

Events taking place on BOTH Friday and Saturday,

December 1st and 2nd, include:

• 42nd Annual Candlelight Tours, Fort Scott National Historic Site, Fri. 6:30-9 pm, Sat. 5-9 pm

• Downtown Business Christmas Tree Decorating Contest cast your vote @ the Courtland, your vote will also enter you in a drawing for prizes!

• The Artificers 7th Annual Christmas Show, Fri. 5-9 pm, Sat. 10 am-9 pm, Sun., 12-5 pm

• Downtown Stores Open Late for Shopping, until at least 8 pm each night

• Crooner’s Outdoor Patio decorated for photo opportunities, open to the public Fri.-Sun.

• Nativity Showcase, First United Methodist Church, Fri. 5-8 pm, Sat. 10 am-2 pm

• Holiday Market Booths at Wall & Main St., Friday 6-10 pm, Saturday 12-10 pm

• Carriage Rides departing from the Depot, 6-10 pm each night

• Firepits with S’mores on Skubitz Plaza, 6-10 pm each night

• Live Nativity by Bethel Church, 1st St. & Scott Ave., 5:30-8:30pm each night

• Pictures with Santa, Be the Light Boutique, Fri. 5-8 pm, Sat. 12-2 pm & 5-8 pm

• Historical Trolley Tours from the Chamber & Visitor’s Center, Fri. 11 am-2 pm, Sat. 10 am-2 pm

Friday-only events include:

• Outdoor Movies at Lowell Milken Park, 6 pm until over

• Live Music by Holly Crays 6:30-7:30pm & Morgan Rohr 8-9 pm, Heritage Pavilion, 1st & Main St.

• Christmas Karaoke at Sharky’s North Pole Pop-up Christmas Bar (3rd floor), 9 pm-1 am

Saturday-only events include:

• Gingerbread House Making Contest, Brickstreet BBQ, 10 am

• Candy Land Adventure, Museum of Creativity, 10 am-4 pm

• Christmas Paint Party at Pizza Republic, 1-3 pm

• Christmas Cookie Decorating and Storytime, Hedgehog.INK!, 2pm

• Chili Feed by FSPD & FSFD, Empress Event Center, 5:30-8 pm

• Bourbon County Revival live band, Empress Event Center, 6-8 pm

• Late-night SINGO, Memorial Hall, 8-11 pm

Sunday-only events include:

• Cohn’s Cafe Holiday Family Style Brunch, 10 am-2 pm, reservations strongly recommended, call or text 620-418-6209

• Floral Centerpiece Making Class by Sunshine Boutique, 1 pm

Be sure and look for the Christmas cutouts throughout Downtown for photo opportunities with your friends and family, being made by Mike & Danyell Miles.

The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Fort Scott express sincere thanks to ALL the sponsors, volunteers, and staff who are making this event possible, including:

Event Chairperson and Chamber Board Member, Diane Striler; Chamber President & CEO, Lindsay Madison; Communications & Events Coordinator Emily Clayton.

Locals and visitors are encouraged to make plans to enjoy this

This is a FUN weekend on the bricks of the Downtown Historic Fort Scott District!

Contact the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce at (620) 223-3566 or [email protected] for questions or more information.

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