This holiday season will look different for a number of reasons as we are in the midst of a pandemic, but that won’t stop me from celebrating! I hope it won’t stop you either.

One of my favorite things to do is light the city tree surrounded by Derby residents, smiling children and the smells of freshly popped kettle corn and hot chocolate in the air. This year, we won’t be able to have that many people packed into the park, but I invite you to watch a video of the tree lighting on the City’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/DerbyKS, on Nov. 19 at 6 p.m.

Since community events like the Tree Lighting and large craft fairs have been cancelled this year, several community organizations have created new events to take their place and give residents different ways to celebrate the holidays. Derby innovators at work!

Another of my favorite holiday traditions is decorating my house with Christmas lights. There’s something magical about lights to provide much-needed festivity to an otherwise boring winter landscape.

I am going to register my house for the Holiday Lights Tour & Contest, which is a new activity sponsored by the city. I may be one of the judges, so I will abstain from the contest and just be on the tour. This event has five categories you can enter. Winners will take home a gift card to a local restaurant and bragging rights as well! Learn more and get signed up at DerbyKS.com/holidaylights.

On December 12, the City is hosting a Drive-Thru Christmas event at Fire Station 81 from 6 to 8 p.m. This event will give families an evening to pick up kettle corn and other treats, give Santa a big wave and get a map of some of the best light displays in Derby. Then your family can enjoy a drive around town looking at Christmas lights. We look forward to seeing you as you drive through!

Aside from the city’s events, there are other community events taking place as well. You can find event information at DerbyKS.com/holidays

I wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

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