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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

La Cygne's Christmas celebration includes parade of lights this year

At the La Cygne Library, 5-year-old Weston uses a one-to-one visit with Santa to update his wishlist for Christmas day.

Story and photos by Roger Sims,

The celebration of the holiday season in La Cygne was a two-part affair, although most of the people who attended likely didn't notice.

Christmas on Broadway, sponsored by the La Cygne Chamber of Commerce with plenty of help from the city of La Cygne and other organizations, returned this year from 3 to 5 p.m. with a host of activities. The brisk chill of a windy day with the temperature in the 40s saw many of the activities move inside this year.

Santa Claus took up residence in the Swan Room of the La Cygne Library, and he was passing out bags of goodies to the kids while their parents snapped photos with their phones. Also moved into the Swan Room this year was the teddy bear making tables where children received kits complete with the shell and stuffing to make their own bear. And just inside the library door, the Ray of Hope Foundation passed out winter gloves and hats to everyone.

The Prairie View High School Marching Band for a second time this year donned lights during a performance. The band also wrapped themselves in lights for a performance following a football game in October.

In the library's great room, live music and a storyteller entertained those who enjoyed staying out of the the wind. Over in the La Cygne Community Building, the Grinch welcomed kids for a pre-Christmas visit while dozens of adults and children alike looked at their raffle tickets hoping that they had a lucky number for the dozens of prizes given away.

To the north, the La Cygne Historical Society museum opened its doors and board members said that a steady stream of visitors came into the museum. One of the favorite displays was an antique horse-drawn sleigh filled with presents.

While the cold moved many people inside, several vendors and organizations braved the chill and welcomed those who came by. And back again this year was the train taking kids, parents and grandparents on rides around the block.

Stephanie Fererro works with her daughters, Caroline and Elizabeth, at stuffing teddy bears at the La Cygne Library. The stuff-a-bear kits continue to be a favorite at Christmas on Broadway.

At 5:30 p.m. the Christmas Whoville Parade of Lights began its journey south on Broadway from Locust Street. It was the first year for the lit-up parade that was organized by Jenn Vogt of Barefoot Lifestyle Photography and Logan Smith of Re-Ohz! sandwich and ice cream shop.

Draped in Christmas lights, the Prairie View High School Marching Band led off the parade, demonstrating drills that won the musicians a I-rating at the Baker University marching band festival earlier this fall. The band was following by 18 floats, groups of walkers or riders and lit-up trucks.

The Wagon Wheel Restaurant's float took top prize at the Whoville-themed parade in La Cygne.

Called a "big-city" float by one of the organizers following the event, the Wagon Wheel Restaurant won top prize, which was a $200 gift certificate for Barefoot Lifestyle Photography. Second place went to Beauty on Broadway with a $50 certificate to Simple Simon's Pizza, and the LIttle Buffs Basketball team float garnered third place and a $30 gift certificate from Re-Ohz!

The candidates for the 2023 Snowflake prince and princess included Arlis Buckley, Ruby Falls, Jayde Molenrich, Avery Tines, and Cody Rhynerson. Brynnlea Haupt and Boidyn Henry won the princess and prince titles respectively.

The evening ended with the lighting of the Mayor's Christmas Tree by La Cynge Mayor Debra Wilson.

Six-year-old Opal rides a bicycle her brother won in a raffle at the La Cygne Community Building. The raffle was sponsored by the La Cygne Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization.

Storyteller Mike Anderson – aka "Hugo Kringle, Santa's little brother – entertains a group of children at the library.

Whoville 'dos were the order of the day as people like Christy Mohr would ride in the parade later in the evening.

The Linn County Museum saw quite a bit of visitor traffic during Christmas on Broadway. La Cygne HIstorical Society members said many visitors were particularly interested in this antique horse-drawn sleigh.

More photos from the event:

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