More than 300 people enjoyed the 2019 Old-Fashioned Christmas event and activities in Hudson, pulled off by a strong core of volunteers and community support teams.
On a typical day, the population of Hudson, Kansas in Stafford County might be lucky to top out at 129 people, but six times in the past 12 years that number has more than doubled for a very special event held every other year - Hudson's Old Fashioned Christmas.
"Our celebration was a week ago but it is still the talk of the town," said community organizer Barb Alpers. "The estimated attendance for 2019 was over 300. Santa and Buddy were two very busy people; the firehouse and cocoa were a kid favorite, the lighted parade and fireworks were a great grand finale and our Grand Marshall, Sally Bauer, was a sight of beauty riding in her horse drawn carriage surrounded by her family."
Tabra Ward, Hudson resident said 2019 was the first year to town added a parade marshal, chosen by the Hudson Community Club.
"This was the first year for the lighted parade, so we chose Sally to lead it because of her many community contributions through the years," Ward said.
Bauer is a nurse by profession but her family owned the grocery store in Hudson, and her son, Darrel Bauer, owner the Wheatland Cafe restaurant, a place that draws visitors to town for famous fried chicken dinners on Sundays.
"Sally has been like a nurse to whole community for years," Ward said. "And she and her family are so faithful to feed anyone who is in need. She volunteers and helps with any community event, who better to lead off our first-ever lighted parade."
Ward said that, for the 2019 celebration, held on December 21, the Wheatland Cafe served over 300 people with homemade bread bowls and soup.
The town firehouse was also open for kids to tour. Trinity Community Church was open for visiting and musicians performed at the church throughout the evening. A large crowd gathered in the community building for a raffle of Christmas gift items, a Lego Christmas scene contest, and an adult gingerbread house contest, won by Carol Siefkes. Santa Claus was there to visit with the children, assisted by Buddy the Elf. Outdoors, as part of the parade and for hours after, Gene and Judy Siebert provided carriage rides drawn by their special horses.
"Thank you to so many people for making this event so special and fun for all those attending," Alpers said. "It is amazing to so many people how this little town is rallied around by people who take time to volunteer and help time after time, event after event, year after year. Bless you all!"