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Hundreds gather in downtown park for tree lighting ceremony

The park in downtown St. Joseph was full of people gathering to watch the tree lighting, fireworks, meet Santa Claus and take carriage rides on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Posted: Nov 27, 2021 9:36 PM
Updated: Nov 29, 2021 11:16 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Downtown St. Joseph is ready for Christmas.

"We're ready to move on and celebrate Christmas. And I'm here for the grandkids, great grandkids actually," Marsha and Darrel Ashlock said.

Last weekend the Downtown Association was cleaning up the Coleman Hawkins Park in Felix Street Square to prepare for the Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

"We're really excited the lighting ceremony is about ready to begin. We have fireworks, we're going to switch on all the lights, we've been checking lights all week, and put up the snowflakes. There's pop up shops, carriage rides, it's just a great time, lots of people are down here it's super fun," downtown liaison Christy George said.

On Saturday everything came to life. People gathered around the park all evening to see the lighting, take carriage rides and watch the fireworks. Some kids took guesses at what color the tree might be.

"Rainbow, rainbow yeah," Annabelle and Evan said.

And students from the choir at Central High School were on stage singing Christmas carols before the tree lighting.

Santa Claus was a special guest at the park. He turned on the switch for the tree lights and took pictures with the kids. Some were
especially eager to tell him what they want for Christmas.

For more information on holiday events by the Downtown Association, click here.

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Bitter cold temperatures have returned to the area with temperatures in the single digits and wind chills below zero this morning. Temperatures will struggle to warm up today with highs in the 20s under mostly sunny skies. Temperatures will slowly start to warm throughout the rest of the work week as dry weather continues. The weekend looks to be mild and sunny with highs in the 40s.
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