On Friday December 2 Raytown’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony was held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Pocket Park in downtown Raytown at the intersection of 63rd street and Raytown Road. This is the 14th year for this event and has become an annual tradition in Raytown.
The event was sponsored by the Raytown Main Street Association, Raytown Parks & Recreation, Raytown Public Works and the City of Raytown with assistance from a host of volunteers and sponsors.
The event kicked-off at 6 pm with a few words from Mayor Mike McDonough, Raytown’s new Superintendent of schools Dr. Penelope Martin-Knox, April Harrington, President of RMSA and Steve Guenther, Vice-President of RMSA. Holiday music was provided by the Raytown Community Band, Raytown South High School Cardinal Chorale, Raytown High School Camerata and St. Regis Academy. At 6:30 Santa appeared (with assistance from the Raytown Fire Department) to greet the children and flip the switch to light up the Pocket Park and the Mayor’s Christmas Tree.
After the lights were on Raytown Water provided hayrides, a winter wonderland with cookies and cider and Santa distributed gifts to the children. The line to see Santa stretched out the Water Company’s front door down 63rd street for a block. After the visit with Santa families hopped on the hayride for a ride through downtown Raytown while singing Christmas carols. The ride ended in front of Atkins Insurance where children enjoyed smores. Bella B’s kitchen also provided hot chocolate and accepted non-perishable food donations for REAP.
This year’s event was a huge success, and many families expressed their gratitude. The smiling, squealing children who attended the event were all the thanks the sponsor’s needed. An event like this could not have occurred without all of Raytown coming together. We are truly blessed to have the support of such a fine city, and we look forward to next years ceremony.