Community comes together for Christmas kick-off event Saturday in Pratt

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Laikyn Nauman of Sawyer revels in the glow of Santa Claus lights that came on Saturday at Lemon Park in Pratt during the annual Christmas at the Park event.
Lea Ann Holland, Pratt Public Library, helps children create Christmas sticker ornaments as part of the Christmas at the Park event Saturday in Lemon Park.
Members of the Pratt High School band gather at the entrance of Lemon Park in preparation of their holiday musical march into Christmas at the Park on Saturday in Pratt.
Pratt Lions Club members Harold Stultz and Andy Lee sell raffle tickets and give away free popcorn to visitors at the annual Christmas in the Park event on Saturday in Pratt.
The Pratt Elks Lodge brought along this fun character to Christmas in the Park on Saturday in Pratt.
Face painting was a popular stop for many at Pratt's Christmas in the Park event Saturday in Lemon Park.
Kennedy Befort, Reece McFarland and Piper Befort dance and giggle along with a jazzy drum performance played by 2021 Miss Kansas Taylor Clark on Saturday at Pratt's Lemon Park. The park was filled with families from the community out enjoying a beautiful late afternoon and evening lighting ceremony for the Christmas at the Park occasion.
Pratt Lions Club member Ike Agwu waits as another dozen children climb aboard the Lions Club barrel train for a free ride around Lemon Park on Saturday at the Christmas at the Park event.
Pictures with Santa were a highlight for many on Saturday at Pratt's Lemon Park Christmas lights lighting annual event.
Members of the Skyline High School band provided holiday music Saturday at Christmas at the Park in Pratt.
Goodies of all kinds were available for sale Saturday at Pratt's Lemon Park, including this table provided by the Skyline Booster Club.

People came from near and far to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season at the annual Christmas in the Park on Saturday in Pratt's Lemon Park. Band music, Christmas chorales and even jazzy drumming provided a celebratory background to this annual community event that culminates in the lighting of more than 80 Christmas memorials and decorations in the park.

For Deb Goyen, who spent months in preparation along with Ron Miller and countless volunteers, working with the decorations, changing light bulbs, planning and directing set up and security, it was a satisfying occasion.

"This is just so much fun," Goyen said. "I think we had a perfect day for our Christmas in the Park. A huge thanks to so many that made that happen. There are so many to thank - Brad Swisher, Bruce and Rita Pinkall, Misty Beck and all her musicians, Kim DeClue, the vendors, our hayride drivers Gordon and Carol Stull and Trey Langford, city crew, Ron Miller and all those I missed."

Santa Claus was at his special little house, entertaining young guests and hearing all kinds of Christmas requests, while posing for special pictures. Miss Kansas 2021 Taylor Clark and Miss Kansas 2021 Outstanding Teen Gracie Hendrickson were also in attendance, enjoying the beautiful weather and festive occasion, even staying until dark when magically the lights came on kicking off the Christmas season in a magical way.

Clark, who will be competing in the Miss America Contest in two weeks, played a jazzy drum solo, much to the delight of young and old who danced nearby. She said she will be playing the same piece as part of the national competition in December.

Barrel train rides, sweet and salty snacks, Dippy's burgers and just time to relax and visit were highlights for the crowds which filled the park from 2 p.m. until dark, after which road barricades were removed and vehicles were allowed to take the mile-long drive through Lemon Park to see the thousands of colorful Christmas lights and unique displays.

Additional Christmas lights are found in nearby Sixth Street Park where the Twelve Days of Christmas are in order from south to north. All Christmas light attractions are free and open to the public, now through the first week of January 2022.

A special map detailed the displays and memorials may be found in the November 24,2021 issue of The Pratt Tribune on page 9A and is also accessible here.

Here is a detailed map of Lemon Park Lights memorials for 2021.