Our Opinion: Community gifts to be unveiled

An ongoing series of Christmas gifts to the community will be available beginning today and continuing into the weekend.

Those presents come in the form of activities, events, tours and a parade. They include:

• The Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony: 6 p.m. today at Rotary Park at the north end of Bolivar Street overlooking the Missouri River. Mayor Eric Streumph will host his first tree-lighting ceremony, which also will include entertainment, refreshments and a visit from Santa.

• Downtown Living Windows Festival: 6-9 p.m. Friday in downtown storefronts. Singers, musicians, dancers, church groups, nativity displays and other activities will be featured. The News Tribune’s Candy Cane House will be set up on the Cole County Courthouse lawn, and Hawthorn Bank will host its traditional Christmas Party, including opportunities for children to visit with Santa.

• Mansion Candlelight Tours: 6:30-9 p.m. Friday and 2-4 p.m. Saturday at Governor’s Mansion. The tours showcase the evening elegance and holiday decor at the Governor’s Mansion, with hot chocolate provided by Lincoln University.

• Come to the Manger: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 618 Henwick Lane. Again this year, the church interior will be adorned with hundreds of nativity scenes.

• The Christmas Parade: 4:30 p.m. Saturday in the downtown area. The parade will feature floats decorated with holiday themes, bands playing Christmas music and other seasonal celebrants.

These and other holiday gifts to the community represent much effort, energy and enthusiasm by area businesses, organizations and individuals.

The Christmas season is a time of wonder — for the young and the young at heart. These community gifts are bestowed for all to enjoy.

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