Another fun Mount Pulaski weekend with Polar Express, Christmas Parade and Santa

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[December 12, 2016]  MOUNT PULASKI - What a busy and festive weekend in Mount Pulaski thanks to the combined efforts of volunteers who make up Community Pride and the Mount Pulaski Courthouse Foundation. These fine folks put in a lot of work so family and friends in the community could enjoy a couple nice evenings.

The festivities kicked off Friday night at the Mount Pulaski Christian Church Family Life Center with an event called Polar Express Movie Night. Kids gathered here to play games, eat pizza, write letters to Santa with Mrs. Claus in attendance, make reindeer food and watch the Tom Hanks movie, “The Polar Express.”

The kids were entertained from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Eight-year old Beau Tschantz of Mount Pulaski attended the event and said his favorite part was the movie. He also said they were busy all night doing activities and by the end of the night he was tired.

Luckily, the kids had time to recover and be ready to go by 5 p.m. Saturday night for the first Lighted Christmas parade.

The cold temperatures had folks bundled up but eager to spread Christmas joy. Leading the parade was a group of young ladies on their horses, all braving the cold to make the trip from the high school all the way to the town square.

Others who rode around and tossed out candy included local royalty, the MPHS Homecoming King Lukas Aylesworth and Queen Gabby Henson, as well as Logan County Fair Queen Michelle Paulus and Little Miss Logan County Paisley Baker.

The Siebert family also had the honor of being named the First Community Family. Rob and Jill, who are raising three fine children in this community, have dedicated their time and efforts to the community for years and they are very deserving of this recognition.

Notable parade winners included True Form Fitness of Mount Pulaski, whose float consisted of a variety of exercise equipment and people on them. Club owner Danita Barger sat atop the bike spinning the entire parade route. “I haven’t stopped,” she was heard shouting to the parade goers.

Other winners included the Mount Pulaski Cub Scout Pack 122 and Blake Eskew with Eskew Racing.

Last, but certainly not least, Santa arrived at the end of the parade and proceeded to dismount from the farm truck driven by Chris Martin and make his way to the Mount Pulaski Courthouse to greet all the little children, and big children, who eagerly awaited his arrival.

Photo opportunities galore took place here, along with more food and fun for the whole family. Tom Martin served hot chocolate while Mary Ann Radtke read to a group of children in a room nearby and it appeared that a good time was had by all. A complete staff of volunteers were on hand as well to see that everyone had everything they needed to make the evening perfect.

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President of Community Pride, Marcy Seitzer, summed up the weekend in this manner, "We are so thankful for such an incredibly successful weekend. We started two new Christmas traditions this past weekend in Mount Pulaski. First, the Polar Express brought in about 70 children Friday night and the first Mount Pulaski Lighted Christmas Parade consisted of about 20 entries.”

Seitzer continued, "The parade was a time to honor our First Community Family award winners and that went to Rob and Jill Siebert and their family. Community Pride would like to thank the community for their continued support in helping us fulfill our ideas and dreams with you. Have a very blessed and Merry Christmas!”

Renee Martin, vice chairman of the Mount Pulaski Courthouse Foundation, was also delighted with the events of the weekend. “I really love seeing the courthouse come to life, especially during Christmas time,” she said. “There truly is a magic in the air.”

Martin continued, "The Courthouse Foundation has a few major goals: Restore and maintain the courthouse, bring the community together and give back to the community by providing memorable experiences. This year the Courthouse Foundation teamed up with Community Pride and provided a Christmas weekend. Sam Brown was the mastermind behind the Polar Express and the parade. I thought the parade was great for the first year!”

Martin continued excitedly, “The floats were unique and so pretty lit up. One of my favorite things is also blasting Christmas music all over the square when Santa comes to town. Thanks to my cousin Nick Davis for that this year!”

Martin also mentioned the success of the weekend. “We had approximately 100 people come into the courthouse Saturday night. Site manager Barbara Stroud-Borth greeted folks, Amanda Doherty and Jamie Jones ran a craft table and I helped Santa with all the kiddos. I could not do these events without a team,” she added.

“Santa was also presented with approximately 75 letters that the kids wrote at the Polar Express. Santa received more letters from kiddos and even some treats to eat. A big thanks to Santa for making a trip from the North Pole to greet all the kids. Val McCue also donates her time to take pictures of everyone Santa greets,” Martin said.

Martin also commented on the joint efforts with Community Pride and was quite pleased with how everyone enjoyed the events. “The Polar Express, well, not only did the excitement of joy beam from the kids, but I saw it from the adults, too! Maybe it was too much sugar from the cookies and the hot chocolate bar,” she said, laughing, “but it was a really fun evening. Very well planned and executed. Working with Community Pride was great and I hope that more organizations will join us in the future. We are all working towards the same goal, which is to see our community alive and vibrant. We are lucky to live in such a great place!”

Martin’s words are so true. On a side note, Martin mentioned that “our town was referred to as Stars Hollow, from the Gilmore Girls show, last night.” Martin thought it was Doherty that had made the reference and Martin added, “When you think about it, she’s right!”

True, very true. Merry Christmas from Mount Pulaski!

[Teena Lowery]

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