Lions Club has annual Christmas roar
A 12-foot ladder strung with a strand of Christmas lights wasn't really what Basehor Lions Club member Howard Jones had in mind for a Christmas celebration, but it served its purpose just as well.
"It's not quite as fancy of decorations," Jones said.
The Basehor Lions Club spent most of Saturday morning decorating the Christmas tree outside Basehor City Hall.
However, chilly temperatures mixed with persistent rain Nov. 24, forced Lions Club members to move their annual Christmas celebration from outside Basehor City Hall to inside the Fairmount Township Fire Department's station next door.
"Normally it's great," Jones said. "The cold isn't bad, it's just the rain."
The Christmas event featured a visit from Santa Claus, who arrived in a fire truck, and was supposed to include a tree lighting ceremony, which was canceled because of the rain.
The tree, which was lighted earlier in the day, simply remained lighted that night.
Jones said the Christmas celebration, which has taken place for more than 20 years in Basehor, seems to be a good way to get people into the holiday spirit.
The visit from Santa, coupled with the tree lighting ceremony, usually attract 75 to 125 people, Jones said, although this year's crowd was down slightly because of the weather.
"It's just kind of nice around Christmas," Jones said. "We've all enjoyed doing it over the years. I wouldn't miss it for anything."
Lions Club member Ron Milbourn said the work that club members put into organizing the event is worth it, especially once they get to see how happy the children are when they talk to Santa.
"I think it's great," Milbourn said. "The kids look forward to this all year, coming up here to tell Santa what they want."
Although the hot chocolate and candy canes were nice, the highlight of the event for many children was being able to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what they wanted for Christmas ice skates, video games, dolls and a variety of other items.
Five-year-old Lauren Kuebelbeck, who sat on Santa's lap Saturday night, said she couldn't decide exactly what she wanted for Christmas, but she did admit to Santa that she didn't want a stick, a rock or a piece of coal.
"I don't know," Kuebelbeck said about what she wanted Santa to bring her.