Downtown Sikeston to host parade of lights, winter wonderland

Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Kristy Lawrence (left) and April Ash decorate a float for Friday’s “Dashing through Downtown Parade of Lights” that will be held in Historic Downtown Sikeston.
Bob Greenlee/Standard Democrat

SIKESTON — Over 30 floats are slated to be on display in Sikeston’s first “Dashing through Downtown Parade of Lights” Friday in Historic Downtown Sikeston.

“We’ve had so many people reach out to us, just wanting to know if they could walk in the parade or how they could participate if they didn’t want to have a huge float,” said Abbi Lindsey, parade organizer and member of Historic Downtown Sikeston. “We would like for people to come out and watch the parade even if they’re not able to put a float in it.”

As of Wednesday, 34 businesses, organizations, clubs and a variety of others have registered to have a float in the parade, Lindsey said.

“One lady has a ‘glammed’ out camper she will pull in the parade,” Lindsey said. “The finale is going to fancy. There will be a big fire truck with Santa and the Grinch — and maybe another surprise.”

Cash prizes will be awarded to the following: $250 for first place; $100 second place; and $50 third place. Three judges who have no ties to the community are coming from out of town to judge the parade floats, Lindsey said.

The parade begins at 6 p.m. Friday and will depart from the post office and travel west, down North Street then south onto Stoddard, east on Center Street and finally south on Kingshighway and west onto Front Street before ending at the lighting of the tree ceremony at Legion Park. Sikeston Mayor Pro Tem Brian Self will do the ceremonial lighting and also serve as the parade grand marshal.

“It’s supposed to be really cold so bundle up for sure,” Lindsey said, adding the Sikeston Jaycees have donated a few heaters that will be set up in the park.

Other Friday evening events include Santa’s Mailbox, candy cane hunts, carriage rides, carolers and pictures with Santa Claus.

“Santa will be coming to take pictures in exchange for a canned good donation for the Bulldog Pantry,” Lindsey said.

Free hot chocolate along with “nice list” and “naughty list” apple cider will be available.

Some downtown merchants will have holiday open houses, offering sales and promotions throughout the weekend.

“Go into some of the stores you’re not used to going into or have never been in and see what they have to offer,” Lindsey said. “For a successful town, we need to have a successful downtown first.”

Families can come out Friday evening and watch the tree lighting and wander through the giant winter wonderland built by the City of Sikeston’s Park and Recreation employees, Lindsey said.

“It’s so huge, you can walk around it,” Lindsey said.

Then from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, “Santa’s Winter Wonderland” — decorated with winter scenes and snowmen — will be at the Sikeston Depot Museum and Cultural Center, 116 W. Malone Ave., in Sikeston.

“We’re providing a day out for families and a fun time for the children, and, hopefully, the parents or grandparents have a good time, too,” said Donna Brown, executive director of the Depot, adding the event is strictly geared toward the children.

Santa will be on site for photo opportunities from noon to 4 p.m. Individuals can take pictures with their own devices, Brown said.

“All of our activities are free and we will have free admission,” Brown she noted.

Children’s workshops will be offered at no charge throughout the day to entertain attendees of all ages.

“We’re going to have activities that children of all ages will enjoy,” Brown said. “Children will be able to write letters to Santa and create their own craft projects while waiting for their turn to talk to Santa.”

See pages 4B-5B in today’s Standard Democrat for more details on Historic Downtown Sikeston’s events this weekend.

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