Area communities gearing up for holidays

Harrisonville and several other communities of South Cass County are putting the finishing touches on their plans to kick off the holiday season.


The city of Cleveland will have a Holiday Lighting Ceremony at 7 p.m. Nov. 24 at 211 W.Main St.


In Peculiar, the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting is set for 5 p.m. Nov. 27 in Brierly Hall. Real Life Assembly of God will serve hot chocolate and cookies from 5 to 6:30 p.m.  Santa and Mrs. Claus are scheduled to arrive at 5:30 p.m.on a West Peculiar fire truck and will be visiting children and taking pictures inside the hall.  The program will start at 6:30 p.m. and will include entertainment by Ray-Pec High School Choir and the announcement of the student winners in the Peculiar Chamber of Commerce coloring contest.  Mayor Holly Stark, joined by this year’s Ray-Pec exchange students, will throw the switch to light the tree. 


Archie will celebrate Country Christmas Dec 1.  The First Baptist Church of Archie will host a chili supper at 5 p.m. and the Christmas Tree lighting will follow on Main Street at 7 p.m.


On Dec. 2, the spotlight shifts to Freeman where the Freeman Community Club will have a fire pit on Main Street with hot dogs, hot chocolate and cookies starting at 5p.m.  Santa will arrive by fire truck at 6 p.m. and the switch will be thrown on the Christmas lights shortly thereafter. 


Residents of Drexel are looking forward to the arrival of the Holiday Express train sponsored by Kansas City Southern Railroad at 4 p.m. Dec. 8.  The train will stop at Main and First Street where there will also be a small number of vendor tents. 

The Holiday Express is a festively decorated six-car train with a smiling tank engine named “Rudy” that brings Santa and his elves to selected communities along the Kansas City route from Louisiana to Missouri.  It has been four years since the train last made a stop in Drexel. Visitors can meet Santa and check out special holiday displays in three of the train cars. In addition to Rudy, visitors will see a flatcar carrying Santa’s sleigh and reindeer, plus a gingerbread boxcar, the elves’ workshop, a reindeer stable and a little red caboose.  Each car is dressed with lights.

Also on Dec. 8, the Drexel Lions Club and the Drexel Booster Club will host “Breakfast with Santa” at the Drexel Community Building from 8 to 10:30 a.m.  The menu includes biscuits and gravy and a cereal buffet.  Santa will be available to visit with the children and take photos.  Everyone who attends will be registered to win one of 20 turkeys, compliments of the Lions Club. Winning names will be drawn at 10 a.m. and you must be present to win. 


Dec. 8 is also the day for Christmas on the Square in Harrisonville. The fun begins at 3:30 p.m. on the square and visitors can enjoy hot cocoa, cookies and crafts for the children at various locations and businesses around the square. Several stores plan to be open for shoppers.  There will also be horse-drawn carriage rides and Rotary Club train rides. 

The Christmas Pageant starts at 4 p.m. on the second floor of the Historic Cass County Courthouse. The pageant is open to children, ages newborn to eighth grade and registration opens at 3:30 p.m. The entry fee is $10 per child.

Visitors can also warm up with some hot Wendy’s chili from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce office and participate in the silent auction on Christmas trees decorated and donated by local businesses. 

A community choir will entertain starting at 5:45 p.m., followed by the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting at 6 p.m. on the courthouse steps. 

Additional activities on tap for Dec. 8 in Harrisonville is a craft show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 402 W. Wall St., and the Bright Futures Holiday Store will be open from 2 to 4 p.m. at Harrisonville Middle School, 106 S. Highland Dr.  

Garden City

A full day of festivities are planned Dec. 8 at the Garden City Community Building. Beginning at 2 p.m., there will be a “Kid’s Christmas” featuring a movie, storytime, letters to Santa and cookie decorating.

At 5:30 p.m. there will be Christmas Caroling Hayrides.

At 6:30 p.m., the focus will be on the city tree which will be lighted following a prayer and singing.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive at 7 p.m. and refreshments will be served along with children’s activities, and various performances. Door prizes will be available and the more events you attend, the more tickets you can earn.

All of the activities are free, but donations will be accepted for the Heart of Life Community Food Pantry.

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