The 20th annual Manhattan Spirit of the Holidays parade returns with huge turnout

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 10:16 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The 20th annual Manhattan Spirit of the Holidays parade returned this year to a huge turnout!

Christmas spirit filled the streets in manhattan Friday night.

“The cool thing about this parade is that it is the perfect show of our community, of our small businesses, of local support,” Gina Snyder, Executive Director of Downtown Manhattan Inc. said. “There are literally neighbors out here walking together, families walking together, churches, corporations, it’s such an awesome display of local community support.”

The 20th annual Manhattan Spirit of the Holidays parade featured more than 70 entries, traveling the mile-long route from downtown to Aggieville.

“This year, not quite back to full force but still really pleased with 70 entries in this parade which is great, and hopefully next year we can break, well my goal is to break the largest lighted parade in Kansas record, so watch out,” Snyder emphasized.

“What makes our float so special is that we really love K-state sports and we love the university, we really do, all of our children,” Melody Sexton, creator of the Wild Cat Wagon float said. “We support the university financially, spiritually; but we love the friends we made here, and these great people here and so we’re celebrating friendship this season.”

“Every year we get together with our friends, and do tailgating and so forth, and this year since its a great year, we’re out celebrating since we haven’t in the past,” Chuck Sexton added.

WIBW-TV also joined in to spread some Christmas cheer.

“It’s a fun thing to do, you don’t find this every place else. I’ve never lived in any place that has so many parades so I just love to be a part of it,” Janet Nichols said.

A Christmas tradition for everyone to enjoy.

“So 20 years of tradition, 20 years of families coming out. We are seeing more and more families actually coming from the region,” Snyder said. “I think it’s really important for children to see Santa at the end, and looking at nativity scenes, and the grinch and all the things that are associated with Christmas, it’s special for the kids.”

The Christmas spirit will continue tomorrow in downtown Topeka.

Topekans can join WIBW on Saturday for the Miracle on Kansas Avenue at 6 pm.

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