Downtown Manhattan holds 21st annual Spirit of the Holidays Lighted parade

Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 11:06 PM CST
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - What better way to kick off the holiday season than with the 21st annual Spirit of the Holidays parade along Poyntz Ave. in downtown Manhattan.

Many from around the city came to watch numerous vehicles and people march downtown. Included were Manhattan high school band, emergency responders, and even the 13 news crew. Mayor, Linda Morse, said this is a celebratory event as it kicks off the holiday season.

“This is the event of the year, it kicks off the Christmas and the holiday season for us and raises the awareness in the community for the breadbasket because there are people who have serious needs and every community,” said Morse.

One great aspect of the event is how it raises awareness of the needs of the Flint Hills Breadbasket. Karla Hagemeister, executive director of the Flint Hills Breadbasket, said that this event is great to show why the community supports the Breadbasket.

“Parade viewers are encouraged to bring food donations with them but, also it’s just an opportunity for us to be out front and remind people about what we’re doing at the bread basket and celebrate with our community and also to have a fun activity and thank them for their generosity and be part of our community which is a great opportunity for us,” said Hagemeister.

With much anticipation, the kids were awaiting the arrival of Santa.

“I love parades and the noiser the better because the kids are so happy. I holler at them and wave from the old red fire engine that we ride in and they always wave back, smile, laugh, giggle, and raise two hands so it’s just a wonderful event,” said Morse.

The parade concluded with people gathering at the Jon and Ruth Ann Wefald pavilion at City Park, where the lighting of the mayor’s holiday tree.