Friday is forecast to dawn cool and clear, signaling a day filled with promise. As late November days go, its 60ish afternoon temperature will be warm, almost balmy. And even a little after the sun sets, a light jacket might be enough to keep most people comfortable.
It will be a lovely evening, the kind best spent outside, perhaps along Poyntz Avenue or in Aggieville. Those vantage points will give residents, whom we hope turn out in droves, ideal vantage points for the Mayor’s Spirit of the Holiday Lighted Parade. It begins at 6 p.m. at Manhattan Town Center and will proceed up Poyntz before turning north toward Aggieville.
The parade’s name might not quite roll off of the tongue, but it does indeed bring out the wonderful spirit of the holidays. It also brings out the ingenuity of individuals, neighborhood groups and others to amuse and even enchant people along the route.
And, of course, there will be plenty of light. It’s in the rules. Every single entry — groups of walkers, automobiles, floats, vehicles “other than cars or floats” and marching bands as well as would-be marching bands — must display lights. Costumes are optional but “strongly encouraged,” and will add to the fun.
The parade is a hoot, though its purposes transcend entertainment. One purpose is to set the stage for the ceremonial lighting of the Mayor’s Holiday Tree in Aggieville’s Triangle Park. Another, more urgent, purpose is to unite residents of this community in the campaign to share our bounty during the Christmas season with neighbors who are struggling to make ends meet. One simple way to do that is to donate nonperishable food that will be taken to the Flint Hills Breadbasket and distributed as needed.
To that end, we encourage residents to bring some food such as a can of meat, soup, vegetables, fruits or a box or bag of noodles, cereal or rice – when you come to watch the parade. Volunteers will collect the food as well as cash donations to the Mayor’s Holiday Fund, and the contributions will all be pooled with others to help perform miracles for area individuals and families in need of one.
We hope you join fellow residents Friday, and help ensure that the parade generates great warmth as well as light.