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City Notes: Charles City’s most wonderful time of the year

By Mayor Dean Andrews

As the holiday season moves ever so closer, I just wanted to highlight some events past and future which will help to make our spirits bright.

The Community Revitalization Holiday Lighted Parade was held last Friday in downtown Charles City. Even though the parade is not extremely long, it is one of my personal favorite parades.

City Notes: Charles City's most wonderful time of the year
Dean Andrews

The lighted parade entries and the overall excitement for the parade certainly provide a festive kickoff to the holidays. The parade seems to be bigger and better each year, as this year’s parade had close to 20 entries.

As mayor, I get to ride in the parade each year and the crowds to watch the parade have definitely become larger and larger.

Several activities have also sprung up over the years to add to the downtown celebration. The Hy-Vee Candy Cane Hunt in Central Park, the Art Center Open House with Christmas songs and art sales, and the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Soup Supper at the Columbus Club all provided opportunities to spend some time celebrating the start to the Holiday Season.

The fireworks show following the parade was a special ending to a special night.

On Saturday, a great turnout on a crisp morning welcomed the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train to town. The train stopped at 8:30 Saturday morning to share some upbeat Christmas music, as well as encouraging local food donations. The railroad itself donated $1,000 to our local Messiah Food Pantry.

On Sunday, the Charles City Singers and the Charles City Chamber Orchestra provided their combined Christmas Concert at Trinity Methodist Church. This is the second year the two groups have performed together, and the result was fantastic.

And then if you still had not gotten your fill of Christmas festivities, the Charles City Schools on Monday combined the band, orchestra and choral departments for their winter concert at Comet Gym. Another great display of the talents of our students.

But this past week is not the end of Christmas activities. The Santa House in Central Park will still be open on Dec. 14th (11-1), Dec. 21st (10-noon), and Dec. 22nd (2-4).

The annual Festival of Trees continues at Otto’s Oasis until Dec. 28th. Nonprofit groups have decorated a dozen trees highlighting their organizations and asking for your monetary donations in the chase for first place.

Finally, another project is the Chamber of Commerce Holiday Cheer Program. You can stop at the Chamber between now and Dec. 16th to adopt a family to help make their holiday a little more cheerful.

The Chamber currently has more families looking for help than it does have sponsors, so please consider this option during this “season of giving.”

As you can see, for those who say “there’s nothing to do in Charles City,” I think the glass is way more than half full. Get out and enjoy this season and may all of your memories be merry.