The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

New Traditions: A Country Christmas

By: Christy Kienast, The Quill

It has been the tradition in La Harpe for many years to have the annual Christmas Open Houses and parade on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

The La.Harpe Golden Rule Club has been in charge of setting up the parade every year.

After bad weather and low turnouts (possibly because of the BIG shopping weekend), the GRC had decided not to go ahead with the parade this year and just have Santa meet in the park with the candy and apples, and since no one wanted to take on the responsibility of the parade it was going to be cancelled.

That is, until Ryan Kienast stepped up and said if they weren't going to do the parade, he would like to try something different this year, just to see if it would work or not.

So, he recruited Casey Yager to help him and the duo are getting things all lined up for a "Country Christmas," which will include a parade.

This year's festivities will be held on Tuesday evening, December 4th from 5-8 p.m. with a lighted Christmas parade being held at 6 p.m. down main street.

There will be horse and buggy rides with Paul Bishop from Burlington, Iowa, pictures with Santa, the businesses will be having drawings, Santa will also arrive for the kids to talk to, after the parade. A vendor blender is in the works as well and they are hoping to have turkeys to give away if they can get some donated.

Hometown Insurance businessman, Casey Yager says "This is a way for us as businesses to say "Thank you," for using the services we offer."

It is also a great way to find out all of the businesses in town that you might not have realized were there.

Ryan and Casey are encouraging all of the businesses to decorate their store fronts for this event.

A Memory Tree is being offered to anyone who would like to put their loved one's name on a bulb. The tree is located in the city park. The cost for this will be $5 per bulb and the proceeds will go to the community Christmas Gift tree, which is set-up inside First State Bank.

The La Harpe United Methodist Church will be hosting their Festival of Trees this night as well.

They will have their candy and bake sale and a supper starting at 4:00 p.m.

The dinner consists of soup and Maid Rites. All proceeds from the trees and the bake sale will go to the local food pantry set up in the La Harpe Christian Church.

Anyone wanting to donate candy or baked goods or decorate a tree for the festival can contact Maxine Hilton or Arlynn Hitz.

Anyone who would like to donate lights for the city park it would be greatly appreciated.

Since there is no Haunted House this year, there is no money to help pay for lights.

The park takes several strands of lights and we go through a lot. If you would like to donate, the lights are needed the first or second week of November.

Anyone who would like to have a float in the parade or a memorial Christmas ball, contact Ryan at 319-759-1986 or Casey at 217-440-2697. Help us make your community shine.