|“Let It Shine” in Gering: Friday night parade, Santa’s Village, live reindeer open season|
|November 27, 2014 Jerry Purvis|
Photo by Kay Grote/Gering Citizen - City of Gering utilities employee Bradley Bewley hangs one of 27 new Christmas banners on Gering’s 10th Street last Thursday. New snowflake Christmas lights and banners hanging along 10th Street this year. It’s part of the Gering Merchants’ mission to support, promote and increase pride and growth for all Gering businesses.
This Friday night at 6 p.m. a parade makes its way down 10th Street toward the Gering Civic Center as the community welcomes the Christmas season and the arrival of Santa and his herd of reindeer.
The “Let it Shine” parade is sponsored by the Gering Merchants and will be led by the American Legion Color Guard. Dozens of holiday themed parade floats will follow, with Santa bringing up the rear as he makes his way to the Gering Civic Center for the opening of Santa’s Village following the parade.
The parade, which usually includes about 25 floats, starts at 6 p.m. at the corner of 10th and T Streets, then south through downtown to Santa’s Village at the Gering Civic Center. Individuals and businesses are invited to participate in the parade. Please contact RaNae Garton at 641-2842 or Janet Mitchell 641-6600 to enter and be in the staging area by 5:30 p.m. Prizes of 100, 75 and 50 dollars will be awarded to the top three entries in the parade. Entries are also welcome to participate in Scottsbluff’s Christmas Parade on Saturday night.
Spectators will notice new snowflake Christmas lights and banners hanging along 10th Street this year. It’s part of the Gering Merchants’ mission to support, promote and increase pride and growth for all Gering businesses.
Santa’s herd of reindeer will also be appearing in the parade, made possible with assistance from Valley Insurance. Amy Doll, a self-described “Santa’s helper” from Valley Insurance said it’s an opportunity for people to see reindeer in person, not just in books and movies. The reindeer will be at Santa’s Village following the parade and again the next day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Gering Merchants will also be serving cookies and hot chocolate that evening, along with candy for the kids. And Bluffs Broadcasting will have a live remote that evening. And the Gering Merchants will be unveiling a new building in Santa’s Village that night. One of the kids’ favorites, the igloo, was built by Tom Cozad and added to the collection 10 years ago.
For the next three Saturdays, Dec. 6, 13 and 20, Santa’s Village will be open outside the Gering Civic Center for kids of all ages to look at the houses. Children can also visit with Santa about their Christmas gift lists.
Dec. 6 is also the day that Scotts Bluff National Monument and Legacy of the Plains Museum will host special Christmas season events for the community, so families can spend the day in Gering.
RaNae Garton of the Gering Merchants said it’s a fun event to promote Gering and see families come together to celebrate the Christmas spirit.
The annual Christmas Parade and Santa’s Village are two of many special events sponsored by the Merchants Association to promote the community. After setting up Santa’s Village last week, members helped bag groceries at Fresh Foods.
“It’s our way of thanking the folks at Fresh Foods for all they do in the community and the support they’ve offered to the Merchants,” Garton said.