Skip to content

Christmas in the Park a winner

For the second time in as many years, the weather for Saturday’s annual “Christmas in the Park,” held in Desloge City Park, was unusually warm and comfortable — especially for the first day of December.

It was truly a perfect day for an outdoor festival of fun.

By the time the popular event began at 1 p.m. a line of parents with their children had already formed for a chance to spend some time with Santa Claus, as was another line gearing up to take a ride on one of two horse-drawn carriages for a tour of the park.

Under a picnic pavilion, live Christmas music was being played; popcorn, hot chocolate and holiday goodies were being passed out; and children along with their parents were taking part in making Christmas crafts to hang on the refrigerator door at home.

Elsewhere children were riding on swings, going down the slide and taking advantage of all the other playground equipment.

Observing all the fun was Desloge Head Librarian Misty Boyer, who was dressed like an elf and sporting an ear-to-ear grin as the city’s library board-sponsored event was proving itself to be another big hit.

This weather is fabulous, fabulous, fabulous!” she said. “I checked the weather forecast since 7 o’clock this morning probably a dozen times just because I was so nervous.”

Asked what she believes brings out the crowds for Christmas in the Park each year, Boyer said, “I think it’s mostly the carriage rides because they’re always a big success, and of course Santa always has a big line. They always seem to enjoy the crafts for the kids, and I think maybe the playground, too — the parents just enjoying their time at the park with their kids.”

Looking at the growing number of people coming to the park, Boyer said, “We already had a big crowd after the first 10 minutes of being here, so I would be surprised if we didn’t have several hundred people here today.”

Speaking with several of the families in attendance, it was obvious that Christmas in the Park has hit on the perfect recipe for bringing the holiday season to the Parkland.

Zach and Victoria Glenn, of Park Hills, brought their two children — Ezio, 3, and Liam, 2 — for the very first time. Their mother had brought her niece to Christmas in the Park years ago.

“I heard about everything that was going on and figured they’d come see Santa and get to see the horses,” Zach Glenn said. 

Rose Wiseman of Park Hills brought her 2-year-old son, Keegan, to enjoy the festivities for the very first time.

“The weather is beautiful, and we are excited to see Santa,” she said. “We’re glad we came out.”

Angela Dawes of Bonne Terre brought her two children, 15-month-old Logan and 7-year-old Myah, and said this was the second year for the three to visit Christmas in the Park.

“We loved it last year and we’re loving it again today,” she said. “We’re just hoping the rain holds out, but it’s beautiful out today.”

Knowing that a massive undertaking like Christmas in the Park can’t be pulled off by one person alone, Misty Boyer mentioned the companies and organizations who helped make the day possible.

“I’d like to thank the people who took their time to help us out — the Desloge Library Board, of course, that sponsors this every year; Walmart is helping us out this year with the hot cocoa; and Belgrade State Bank always provides the popcorn. We have music provided by the Boyers from Boyer Funeral Home and we have some kids here from North County High School helping us with the crafts today. We thank the carriage company that came out, and of course, Santa himself.

When all is said and done, Boyer said Christmas in the Park can best be described as a community event that’s put on by the community itself.

“We have people who sometimes call us wanting to know what they can do,” she said. “Of course, we have contacts that we call every year and they are always so eager to help us.”

“I checked the weather forecast since 7 o’clock this morning probably a dozen times just because I was so nervous.” — Misty Boyer, Desloge head librarian

One of the big draws each year for the Desloge Library Board's Christmas in the Park is the free carriage rides that give citizens a brief tour through city park.

One of the big draws each year for the Desloge Library Board’s Christmas in the Park is the free carriage rides that give citizens a brief tour through city park.

Santa Claus, a close friend of Desloge Mayor David Kater, goes over the Christmas list of William Greminger, 5, the son of David and Jennifer Greminger of Farmington, during Saturday's annual Christmas in the Park.

Santa Claus, a close friend of Desloge Mayor David Kater, goes over the Christmas list of William Greminger, 5, the son of David and Jennifer Greminger of Farmington, during Saturday’s annual Christmas in the Park.

Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or kjenkins@dailyjournalonline.com

Leave a Comment