Jefferson City area presents holiday events

Julie Smith/News Tribune photo: 
Jeff Buker, left, and Will Wood put up a Christmas lights display Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023, at Binder Park as they prepare for its opening Saturday, Dec. 2, when the lights will be turned on to kick off the annual fundraiser to benefit Homemaker Healthcare. Buker is the executive director of the agency and was part of team who came up with the idea for the annual event.
Julie Smith/News Tribune photo: Jeff Buker, left, and Will Wood put up a Christmas lights display Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023, at Binder Park as they prepare for its opening Saturday, Dec. 2, when the lights will be turned on to kick off the annual fundraiser to benefit Homemaker Healthcare. Buker is the executive director of the agency and was part of team who came up with the idea for the annual event.


Yes, retailers have been selling Christmas decor and lights for a month.

And yes, the weather had been abnormally warm -- until this weekend.

But it is beginning to feel like the Christmas season. It's getting chilly out. There have been a few snowflakes around. Egg nog is on grocery shelves.

In Jefferson City, the season really kicks off in the upcoming week.

The 18th annual Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony is set for 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Rotary Centennial Park, 102 Bolivar St. It will include refreshments, entertainment and a visit from Santa Claus.

Living Windows brings the whole community downtown for carolers, dancers and live reindeer at 5:45 p.m. Friday. The Downtown Association organizes the event, which has drawn thousands of people downtown to see festive performances and decorations in windows. This year will feature drone performances.

The governor's annual tree lighting is the same evening. A tree-lighting ceremony occurs at 6 p.m. Candlelight tours of the Missouri Governor's Mansion operate from 6-9 p.m. Friday and 6-8 p.m. Dec. 4.

Another option far from the crowds is the Festival of Light at 7 p.m. Friday at Concord Baptist Church, 3724 W. Truman Blvd.

Saturday is chock-full of events.

Santa is expected to share milk, cookies and coloring pages at 10 a.m. at Busch's Florist, 620 Madison St.

Head over to High Street for the 84th annual Jefferson City Jaycees Christmas Parade, where you'll find floats, marching bands and more. Festivities begin at 4:30 p.m.

Following the parade, take in the Capital City Festival of Lights at Binder Park, 5840 Rainbow Drive. This mile-long drive-thru display showcases holiday-themed scenes depicting everything from Santa Claus and his elves to choreographed lights synced with music. Vehicles enter South Binder Lake Drive at Rainbow Drive and exit on Henwick Lane. Hosted as a fundraiser for Homemaker Healthcare Community Outreach, it costs $20 per car and $35 per bus/trolley/limo. This runs from 6-9 p.m. until Dec. 31 and is closed on Mondays.

Also in Jefferson City, River Region Credit Union is home to a Christmas light display. It's open Thursday through Sunday evenings until New Year's Day. The credit union is located at 3124 W. Edgewood Drive.

Other area communities are celebrating with Christmas parades this coming Saturday.

Fulton hosts its 74th Annual Christmas Parade at 1 p.m. "A Very Sweet Christmas" is the theme for the annual parade, which will occur in downtown Fulton.

California's Christmas Parade is 5:30 p.m. It will feature an "Ugly Sweater Christmas" theme.

The following week, Journey To Bethlehem begins at 6 p.m. Dec. 7. The event allows modern man to travel back to the first century and experience a live re-enactment of the story surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ at Capital City Christian Church's annual event. It runs from 6-8:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and 6-10 p.m. Dec. 8-9. Admission is free and reservations are not required but are suggested.

Veterans and their supporters will distribute Wreaths for Heroes around 9 a.m. Dec. 9 at Jefferson City National Cemetery. A ceremony will follow.

That evening, enjoy the Jefferson City Cantorum's annual holiday performance -- "Nutcracker Jingles." The performance will take place at the Miller Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for children.

Want music? Want free music? Porchfestmas, presented by Jefferson City Parks, is set for 4-6 p.m. Dec. 10 on Elmerine Avenue.

Jefferson City School will get you in the spirit of the season with Capitol Caroling, which is just what it sounds like. Students will carol at 7 p.m. Dec. 12 in the Missouri State Capitol.

You can ice skate with Santa from 1-4 p.m. Dec. 16 at the Washington Park Ice Arena, 711 Kansas St. Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for youths. Skate rentals are $3.

Salvation Army will again host a memorial for area homeless residents who have died. The event is set for 4 p.m. Dec. 21 at the Center of Hope, 927 Jefferson St.

Building Community Bridges is hosting a Christmas Eve brunch -- noon-2 p.m. -- at Tawanda's Cafeteria, 1121 E. Miller St. Be ready to purchase photos with Santa.

The Salvation Army will again offer two free Christmas meals. The meals will be served 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. Christmas Day. They are open to the public.

  photo  News Tribune file: Libby Farthing watches her brother, Chester, and Jan Houser perform inside Cook, Vetter, Doerhoff & Landwehr's office during Living Windows 2022.
 
 
  photo  News Tribune file: Community for Drug Free Youth's Safety Kids perform in The Backdrop's windows during Living Windows 2022.
 
 
  photo  News Tribune file: Emma Kissick, a student of Robin Freeland Music, performs during Living Windows 2022.
 
 
  photo  News Tribune file: The Sweet Adelines perform in the Central Bank lobby during Living Windows 2022.