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With the turn of the weather it’s hard not to start thinking about fires in the fireplace, a few more state championships and the upcoming holidays.

The holiday season is a time to give thanks, spend time with family and friends, and reflect on the past year. The city’s first celebration is the 14th Annual Tree Lighting on November 21 at Madison Avenue Central Park. This is one of my favorite events of the year where I have the honor of lighting the city tree and kicking off the holiday season in my hometown.

December 7 is a day packed full of events for craft fair-goers where unique gifts and bargains can be found. That evening we can all come together at the annual Lighted Christmas Parade. I’d like to thank the Derby VFW Post 7253 and Chamber of Commerce for organizing this year’s parade. It’s a lot of work, but enjoyed by so many in our community.

We have a new event this year – Christmas in the Park on December 14. This event combines the Derby Recreation Commission’s Breakfast with Santa, the Derby Library’s Santa’s Village and the Carriage Rides in the Park hosted by Julie Olmsted Insurance Agency. This will be a fantastic day of fun at Madison Avenue Central Park where families can enjoy inflatables, a petting zoo, reindeer, photos with Santa and much more!

Find a list of holiday event information at DerbyKS.com/holidays. If you have an event you’d like on the calendar, call Janae’ at 788-1519 to provide your information.

Another holiday initiative that is near and dear to my heart is Derby Operation Holiday, a community program that helps those in need in the Derby School District with food and toys during the holiday season. I have had the opportunity to see first-hand how your community donations help families. Thank you for your willingness year after year to help your friends and neighbors.

I am proud of our community and the people who live here. I’d like to wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season.

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