The Parks For All Foundation, a non-profit formed in 2008 (formerly known as Shawnee County Parks + Recreation Foundation) has donated this year’s Christmas Tree for display at Evergy Plaza in downtown Topeka. The 18-foot tall, black hill white spruce will be harvested from a former tree nursery near Shawnee County Parks + Recreation’s Warren Nature Area in Felker Park.
“We are returning a former tree nursery to native prairie and this particular tree simply had not been transplanted elsewhere,” said Tom Hammer, SCP+R Natural Areas supervisor.
“The tree is so large that it would likely not have survived if we tried to transplant it now so it seemed a natural opportunity to donate it to become this year’s community Christmas tree downtown.”
Bettis Contractors, Capital Crane and Capital Trucking will move the tree to the plaza on December 1.
“The Parks For All Foundation exists to enhance the community’s park and recreation experience,” said Angel Zimmerman, chairman of the foundation. “We’re pleased for this opportunity to enhance the holiday experience for our entire community.”
A virtual tree lighting ceremony will take place at 5:30p on Saturday, December 5 at Evergy Plaza, just prior to the 25th Annual Miracle on Kansas Avenue Parade. At the time of this writing, the parade is still scheduled with a reverse route around the Capitol. The Facebook event states:
“Although by name and tradition this usually takes place on Kansas Ave, the new route offers a safer route with fewer obstacles for this new format. We’ll be back on Kansas Ave next year.”
Floats will line both sides of the street while attendees will parade through the route to view the floats. The Miracle on Kansas Avenue Parade features “lighted” holiday-themed entries and the official arrival of Santa. Between the tree lighting ceremony and the parade, enjoy dinner downtown and stroll the avenue, getting into the holiday season with their decorated storefronts.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOPEKA
December 5 also marks the 166th birthday of Topeka. seveneightfive and ArtsConnect have teamed up, once again, to present a virtual house concert featuring local musicians, poets and artists; Oceanside Hotels is the main act. The virtual event begins at 9p (previously scheduled for 8p but adjusted to accommodate the lighting ceremony and parade) You may watch the virtual house concert on your ROKU, Fire or Apple TV. LEARN HOW
Currently, plans are in place to re-stream both the lighting ceremony and a portion of the 25th Annual Miracle on Kansas Avenue Parade. So for those who decide to shutter inside, we’ve got your covered. You’ll be able to tune in Saturday evening and get all the festivities; be sure to stock up on local libations and petit fours. If you need inspiration, follow seveneightfive contributor and Topeka Flavorista Alison Beebe HERE.
ABOUT PARKS FOR ALL FOUNDATION
The Parks For All Foundation helps change the way our community sees itself. With financial support, the Foundation helps Shawnee County Parks + Recreation provide family-friendly and safe outdoor spaces that can be shared by everyone in our welcoming community. “Help us bring joy and vibrancy to the natural outdoor spaces we all love.”
Shawnee County Parks + Recreation Foundation (now Parks For All Foundation) was formed in 2008 as a 501(c)(3) organization which uses tax-deductible contributions, bequests and advertising revenues to support major capital improvements, public park land acquisition, special projects, and programs. “In 2018, we changed our name to Parks For All Foundation to better reflect our mission, vision and overall community values.”