For Immediate Release
Celebrate the season in Parks with lights, Santa, ice skating, golf and more
The Springfield-Greene County Park Board gets into the holiday spirit in December with a variety of events and opportunities, starting this weekend with the Mayor's Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Festival of Lights.
- Festival of Lights Mayor's Tree Lighting Ceremony
- Downtown Springfield's annual Festival of Lights, presented by Mercy, kicks off Saturday, Nov. 23 at 5:30 p.m., at Jordan Valley Park, 635 E. Trafficway. Mayor Bob Stephens lights a 33-foot musical Norway spruce with the help of hundreds of Springfield 1st and 2nd graders. Includes free ice skating at Mediacom Ice Park ($2.50 skate rentals), live music by Children's Choirs of Southwest Missouri, Santa's mailbox, and a mini parade to Hammons Field, where kids may visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and enjoy hot cocoa and candy canes and a fireworks show presented by the Springfield Cardinals. Admission is free. The Festival of Lights holiday light display continues nightly through New Year's Eve. Additional Festival of Lights events and details are listed at www.itsalldowntown.com 417-831-6200.
- Free Ice Skating at Mediacom Ice Park
- In conjunction with the Festival of Lights, Mediacom Ice Park offers several free ice skating opportunities at 635 E. Trafficway. Skate rental is $2.50. Free skating is Saturday, Nov. 23, 6-8 p.m.; Thanksgiving Day 5-6 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 29, 5:30-6:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 14, 7:45-8:45 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 21, 5-6 p.m.; Christmas Day, 5-6 p.m. See full schedule at www.icepark.org 417-866-7444.
- 19th Annual Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk
- Springfield's Thanksgiving Day tradition! The annual event is Springfield's largest timed 5K of the year and the largest Thanksgiving Day 5K in Missouri, attracting 9,007 participants in 2012. The event takes place Thursday, Nov. 28, 8 a.m. in downtown Springfield and the MSU campus, and is held rain, snow or shine. Registration required, $20/adults,$15/kids before Nov. 22; $25 adults, $20 kids in person on Nov. 27-28 at Springfield Expo Center, 635 E. St. Louis St. www.parkboard.org 417-864-1049.
- Candy Cane Lane
- Enjoy a drive-through light display with more than 10,000 lights and Christmas displays at Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park, 3825 W. Farm Road 146. Open Fridays and Saturday, 5-7 p.m., Nov. 29- Dec. 21. Admission is $3 per vehicle. Info at www.parkboard.org 417-837-5949.
- Holiday Train Garden Display
- The magic of miniature landscapes and moving model trains transforms the Botanical Center atrium into a holiday wonderland. Presented by the Ozarks Garden Railway Society at the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic Ave. Dec. 1- 31, open Mondays ¿ Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sundays, 11.a.m. to 6 p.m. Free. Donations accepted. www.parkboard.org/botanical/ 417-891-1515.
- PGA Midwest Section Annual Golf Sale
- Rivercut, Horton Smith and Bill & Payne Stewart golf courses team up with area courses for an annual sale. Includes discount golf rounds and up to 75-percent off golf merchandise. Thursday, Dec. 5 ¿ Saturday, Dec. 7; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Thurs. and Fri.; 9 a.m. ¿ 5 p.m. Sat. At 1440 W. Republic Road, across from Remington's. www.parkboard.org 417-833-9962 or 417-891-1645.
- Christmas at the Farm
- Enjoy kids' holiday crafts, visit with Rudolph, take your picture with Santa and warm up with some hot cocoa. Then head to the barns to visit the farm animals. Bring your camera! Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8, 12-4 p.m. Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park, 3825 W. Farm Road 146. Admission is free, some activities have a fee. www.parkboard.org 417-837-5949.
- Festival of Lights Ice Skating Show
- A holiday program showcasing local figure skaters and three Synchronized Skating teams from Jefferson City. Saturday, Dec. 7, 5 p.m. at Mediacom Ice Park, 635 E. Trafficway. Admission $5. www.icepark.org 417-866-7444.
- "The Dickensian Christmas" Tablescapes with Peter Longley
- Entertain with high style as you learn to dress your table for a special holiday meal inspired by Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." Host Peter Longley guides participants through designing a formal table setting for a Christmas meal, including building a floral centerpiece and arranging china, silver, glassware, linens and holiday décor. Each presentation includes a fictitious menu, poetry, readings and anecdotes related to the season. Presentations are followed by seasonal refreshments. Friday, Dec. 13, 6 p.m. Registration required, admission $10. www.parkboard.org/botanical/ 417-891-1515.
- Wreath-making workshop
- Make your own fresh and fragrant holiday wreath with greenery, berries, dried flowers, fruits, cones and pods from the nearby gardens in Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park. A great adult-child activity for age 10 and up. Saturday, Dec. 14, 10 a.m. ¿ noon. Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic Ave. Registration required, admission is $25 and includes all materials. www.parkboard.org/botanical/ 417-891-1515.
- Downtown Springfield Christmas Parade
- The annual parade, presented by the Urban Districts Alliance, begins at South Avenue and Elm Street, circles around Park Central Square, continues on East St Louis Street and Kimbrough Avenue, and ends at Jordan Valley Park, 635 E. Trafficway. Includes more than 60 floats, 10 marching bands and Santa himself. Saturday, Dec. 14, 2-4 p.m. Free. www.itsalldowntown.com 417-831-6200.
- Santa and Friends
- Far from the malls, enjoy the subtle winter landscape and holiday exhibits at the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic Ave. Visit with Santa, see the holiday train garden display and enjoy other kids activities. Sunday, Dec. 15, noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free, some activities have a fee. www.parkboard.org/botanical/ 417-891-1515.
- Little Critters Holiday Nature Crafts & Games
- Make holiday nature crafts and play games at the Watershed Center at Valley Water Mill Park, 2300 E. Valley Water Mill Road. Participants take home a packet. For kids ages 3-6 with an adult. Saturday, Dec. 14, 10-11:30 a.m. Registration required by Dec. 10, admission is $5/child, or $3/child for three kids or more. www.parkboard.org 417-833-8647.
- First Night Springfield
- Ring in the New Year at First Night Springfield 2014, a family-friendly New Year's Eve celebration in downtown Springfield. This year features more than 20 performances and activities at 10 venues, including Mediacom Ice Park, and a midnight fireworks finale in Jordan Valley Park. Presented by the Springfield Regional Arts Council. Tuesday, Dec. 31, 8 p.m. ¿ midnight. Tickets $8/each or $30/family 4-pack in advance, $10/each or $35/family 4-pack at the event. Children 3 and under free. Details at firstnightspringfield.org. 417-831-6200.
Please note that the Christmas Tree sale listed in the Fall 2013 Park Bench magazine, page 7, has been canceled.
For more information on these events, call the number listed.
For media inquiries only, call Jenny Fillmer Edwards, Public Information Administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, at 471-874-2176 or 417-224-5510.