Christmas parade, tree lighting ceremony happening on Saturday

Christmas is coming to Cuba this weekend. Santa Claus will make an early appearance in Saturday’s Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade, and other holiday activities are planned for families at the Recklein Commons area on Smith Street, including a Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

The Christmas parade along Route 66 is scheduled to kick off the day’s holiday events on Saturday, December 9. The parade starts at 5 p.m. at Wagon Wheel Motel, and it will travel west along Route 66 to Smith Street, ending at Recklein Auditorium, where Santa’s Workshop will be held from 5 to 7 p.m.

Parade lineup is scheduled to take place at the Wagon Wheel lot at 4 p.m., with the parade starting its run at 5 p.m. The parade and workshop are being organized by the Cuba Area Chamber of Commerce.

Santa’s Workshop will take place inside Recklein Auditorium. Nearly 20 vendors had already signed up for the event as of Monday. Santa will bring up the rear of the parade run and then appear at Recklein Auditorium for photos with kids. Hot cocoa and cookies will be served as refreshments.

Craft or other vendors participating in Santa’s Workshop should set up inside Recklein on Friday, from 5 to 8 p.m., or on Saturday after 3 p.m. Tables will be provided.

The workshop will remain open to the public until 7 p.m.

There will be a Christmas tree lighting ceremony outside Recklein Auditorium, following the parade run. Families can bring their own ornaments to help decorate the tree if they wish. The lights are being provided by donations, many of them from local businesses.

Anointed Faith Tabernacle and other churches will be singing Christmas carols, and the public is invited to join in. There will also be storytellers to tell children the stories of both the birth of Jesus and where our national anthem comes from.

A countdown will take place, and Mayor Ray Mortimeyer will flip the switch to turn on the Christmas tree lights on the evergreen tree located in the commons area, adjacent to the Cuba War Memorial.

Gordon Kitson has helped to organize the Christmas tree lighting event. He was moved to do so, after watching a holiday movie on the Hallmark channel. “The good Lord put this on my heart to go before the city council and get this done,” said Kitson, “and they were in support of it even before I could finish speaking. I’m not looking for any recognition out of this. I just want to see the community come together for the Christmas season.”

Kitson is a woodworker and will be offering several items to give away at the tree lighting ceremony. He has a wooden wishing well that he constructed, along with different sized planters to be given away in a drawing. He said that Huddle House had also donated a gift basket, and that too will be given out in the free drawing on Saturday night.