The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Wow! What a wonderful night from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. the town of La Harpe experienced on Dec. 5th.
I came to this town in 1955 at the age of 15. I, like many others, can remember how on Wednesday and Saturday night there were no parking spaces available.
At Christmas time poultry, gifts from Santa for the children, and open house from the many merchants, was the norm.
In the past years, the parade was held in the afternoons. The weather has always been a factor.
For all of you who worked so hard on last years parade-hats off to you. It rained and made it absolutely an almost disaster.
This year God blessed us with a perfect evening.
Our 42 merchants opened up their doors for refreshments, prizes and big smiles.
The Legion and Masonic Hall basement was a great place for the Vendor-Blender. I, myself was able to purchase two very nice Christmas presents.
Mr. Paul Bishop and wife from Burlington, IA brought his two Belgium horses and 22 passenger carriage for free rides. The city paid for this. It was busy the whole time. Even old timers like myself, truly enjoyed the ride.
The city park was well lit and was a great backdrop for the parade. Ryan Kienast, my great niece, Melissa Sullivan (a relative newcomer to town) and myself helped Ryan decorate the park. This was Ryan's and myself second day. He sang for us and both of us assured him not to quit his day job!
After lunch, Ryan's wife, and two children, plus Melissa's three, helped too. It's tedious work getting those strings of lights up in the trees, especially the Veterans and Memorial ones.
Bless you for all of the people who donated money to purchase lights and bulbs and drop cords, for the lights themselves, and the large Christmas tree for the bandstand.
Ryan and Christy have decorated the park by themselves for sometime and I was glad to get the privilege to help in any way. You are never too old to volunteer.
Then came the parade held at night. It was spectacular. If we have ever had a parade at night I cannot remember. There were 54 entries and a great deal of thought and time was put into each one. The first two were the American Legion. It touched me to see so many veterans. Some are there for every parade.
Ryan and Casey Yeager, the new owner for Hometown Insurance, took on this task all by theirselves. We should tell these two young men our appreciation for all of their hard work. Neither had taken on such a huge project. Guys, well done! It definitely was a huge success.
I went home at 8:00 p.m. and there still were many people on the streets and going into the many businesses. This was from the east and west end of town.
Having worked in the post office here for twenty years, I can never remember it having an open house. Good job Postmaster Charlie.
I sincerely hope that this will be a new tradition for our town and more people will become involved. It's work, but the rewards are the best.
Letter to the Editor:
Tuesday, December 4th was an evening to remember in LaHarpe. For those
who missed it, you missed a wonderful evening with a fantastic lighted
parade, visits with Santa, carriage rides, open houses and so many
other activities going on that it was hard to attend them all. I hope
everyone realizes that this night wouldn't have happened without Ryan
Kienast (Quill) and Casey Yager (Hometown Ins.). These two young men
(with the help of various people who I won't attempt to name for fear
of leaving someone out) took on the huge task of getting the evening
organized. I encourage everyone to tell these young men what a fine
job they did. They also accomplished this task with very limited
budget and I'm sure spent a lot of their own money.
If you enjoyed the evening and can think of some way to help next
year, I'm sure help would be appreciated. Maybe you could make some
calls, help distribute fliers, fold the brochures, help decorate
different areas, help make a float, donate unused Christmas
decorations, donate money for a turkey, or anything else that you feel
It is hard to please everyone with dates and times. No date is ideal
for everyone. I would urge anyone who has an opinion on when the event
should be held, or ideas on what worked or didn't work, to become an
active volunteer and be involved with the process. Also, support your
local businesses when you can. I know I was blown away by the
attendance at my open house. There were many people from out of town
attending. I think LaHarpe made a good impression on them. We saw a
lot of hometown pride going last week, let's continue the feeling.
Tuesday night reminded me a little of when we had the Homecoming
parades in LaHarpe. There seemed to be an excitement in the air and a
buzz around town. I would love to see this continued. Let the
organizers know if you would like to see it continued too.
Donna Wood, Wood Tax & Accounting
I believe the following people should be recognized as the Country Christmas Committee consisting of Ryan and Christy Kienast and Casey Yeager with the help of the city council which organized the festivities for Tuesday, December 4.
It was a great evening and many, many people enjoyed the festivities which consisted of: