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Enjoying the season

-Messenger file photo
Camden Johnson, then 5, of Fort Dodge, tells Santa Claus what he wants for Christmas this year, as Mrs. Claus waits to give him a candy cane. Johnson asked Santa for a sled during the 2018 Holiday on Central.

It’s that time of year again — the most wonderful time of the year.

The annual Fort Dodge tradition Holiday on Central means that the holiday season will officially be in full swing beginning at 5 p.m. Monday.

Families can see Santa arrive down Central Avenue leading to City Square Park courtesy of the Fort Dodge Fire Department and Mayor Matt Bemrich. Once at the square, Santa will help with the momentous lighting of the outdoor tree to officially begin the holiday season.

Following Santa’s arrival, families are invited to participate in a variety of kids activities inside the Fort Dodge Public Library. Activities this year include a holiday craft station, story time, cookie decorating and letters to Santa

Families can enjoy hot chocolate or apple cider while listening to a local high school choir singing Christmas carols.

-Messenger file photo
Naomi Fisher, then 10, of Fort Dodge, is decked out with a mustache, Santa hat and bow tie at the 2018 Holiday on Central.

Children will also have the opportunity to take their picture with Santa. Those who wish to have their picture taken are encouraged to bring their own camera.

”Once again, we have a great evening planned for Holiday on Central,” said Dennis Plautz, the chief executive officer of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance.

The annual event is brought to you by these sponsors: The Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, Great Western Bank, the City of Fort Dodge, Fort Dodge Fire Department, Fort Dodge Public LIbrary, Hy-Vee, Candies & More, Olde Boston’s Restaurant and Pub, Fort Dodge Senior High, St. Edmond Catholic School, Alpha Media, The Messenger, The Lions Club and Target.

Lights at Kennedy to provide holiday glow

The multi-colored glowing celebration that is Lights at Kennedy is debuting this weekend.

There are multiple displays of Christmas lights set up and sponsored by local businesses and organizations in the campground at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park north of Fort Dodge.

-Messenger file photo
Payton Johnson, then 4, is held by her mom, Jen Johnson, both of Fort Dodge, while listening to a Christmas story during the 2018 Holiday on Central.

The display will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. today and Sunday.

Future dates for Lights at Kennedy are Dec. 13-15 and Dec. 20-22.

Santa Claus will be there to hand out candy canes.

Admission is $5 per vehicle, with profits donated to Backpack Buddies, a program that provides some food to qualifying children to ensure that they have something to eat over the weekends.

Lights at Kennedy is organized by Sertoma and Fort Dodge Young Professionals.

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