Several weekend events highlight holidays

The Jefferson City Mayor’s Christmas Tree at Rotary Centennial Park at the north end of Bolivar Street will be lighted for the first time this year at 6 p.m. tonight (Thursday).

The Jefferson City Mayor’s Christmas Tree at Rotary Centennial Park at the north end of Bolivar Street will be lighted for the first time this year at 6 p.m. tonight (Thursday).

It’s more than the Windows. The first weekend in December offers Mid-Missourians several opportunities for holiday-related activities and events in Jefferson City.

And those activities begin at 6 p.m. tonight (Thursday), with the lighting of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree, in the Rotary Centennial Park at the north end of Bolivar Street.

The Living Windows and Governor’s Mansion Candlelight Tours highlight Friday’s events. Both begin at 6 p.m., with music.

Mansion candlelight tours

At the mansion, a children’s choir sings from 6-6:15 p.m., followed from 6:15-6:30 p.m. by Gov. Jay Nixon’s remarks and turning on the mansion’s holiday lights.

The tours of the mansion’s main floor rooms runs from 6:30-9 p.m.

Living windows

Two blocks away, a choir of about 300 students from Jefferson City, Helias, Blair Oaks, Russellville and Eugene high schools — formed this fall to promote the “Characterplus” effort, will sing from the courthouse lawn.

Several new groups are joining the downtown event, held in various store display windows, for the first time, “which is really kind of neat,” organizer Sam Bushman said.

As in past years, the Parks and Recreation Department is offering hay rides.

Christkindelfest

Saturday’s focus includes Christkindelfest at the Central United Church of Christ, more mansion candlelight tours from 2-4 p.m., and ending with the Jaycees’ 71st Annual Jefferson City Christmas Parade.

Christkindelfest celebrates the Old Munichberg neighborhood’s German heritage. Steve Buchholz, Central UCC pastor, noted the event begins “with the (church) doors opening at 9:30 a.m. for the morning Kaffee Klatch. German baked goods will be on sale, and there will be quite a variety for folks to buy and take home or munch on in the gym — where tables will be set up — and have a cup of coffee and good conversation.”

A German Musical Worship service begins in the church sanctuary at 11 a.m., this year “featuring a work by Franz Gruber, (who) also composed ‘Silent Night,’” Buchholz said.

The service is followed by a German ham luncheon, which also is open to the public, from noon-1 p.m.

And at 1 p.m., Buchholz will lead a “a heritage tour of the church.”

Christmas parade

For the second year, the Jaycees’ Christmas parade begins downtown at 4:30 p.m., returning to an early evening time frame, which allows some floats to be lighted, as was done a number of years ago.

Read expanded preview coverage of these holiday events in the Escape section of our newspaper or e-Edition for Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010.

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