The Desloge Library Board has decided to forego the annual Christmas in the Park celebration this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they have come up with a festive alternative.
And the alternative just might bring back some memories for those who have been around Desloge for a while: a Santa parade.
Santa will ride on a fire truck up Chestnut Street (from Christine's Cafe), to Lincoln Street, to the fire house at noon on Dec. 5.
“I like that,” Alderman Chris Gremminger said. “It's going to be kind of a throwback to the days gone by.”
The Desloge Board of Aldermen discussed the plans during last week’s meeting.
“Every year was a big thing,” Gremminger continued, “and they ended up at the town Christmas tree, which was always up here at Chestnut and Desloge Drive. Of course, all the kids sat on Santa's lap and everybody was given a sack that had candy, oranges, and apples in it.”
There will be no sitting on Santa’s lap this year. But each kid will receive a treat bag.
Parks and Recreation Director Terry Cole said he’s also hoping to get some local choirs to sing carols during the parade.
The parade will be the same day as the Desloge Chamber of Commerce’s Jingle Bell Run, which will be at 8 a.m.
“So it's just something bring a little cheer,” Cole said. “We need it. We desperately need it. Our town does.”
He is hoping that by next year they can have the run and the parade leading up to Christmas in the Park.
The board also decided to forego the annual employee holiday dinner because of the pandemic. Employees will still get a holiday ham and the board is hoping that maybe they can have an employee-appreciation dinner outside in the spring.
The mayoral vacancy was also discussed at the meeting. Mayor David Kater will be sworn in as a St. Francois County commissioner at the end of the year.
The board decided to proceed with Mayor Pro Tem Alvin Sutton until the April election.
Sutton also expressed interest in possibly running in April.
“I want what's best for the city and I will not run against somebody on this board,” he said. “I will gladly step aside and just stay where I'm at if somebody else wants to run.
“The last thing I want is that dark cloud because it's negative energy any way you cut it and slice it.”
No other board members expressed interest at the meeting. The filing will be open in December.
The board also got an audit report from Abby Sawotsky with Hochschild, Bloom and Company LLP.
She said the city received a clean audit and the financials are in good shape.
“This year, your general fund was up $30,000,” she said. “In the prior year, you were down $108,000.”
In other business, the board:
- approved a fuel policy resolution, a recommendation from the audit.
- approved an ordinance that amended a two-way stop to a four-way stop at Waller and Chestnut Streets after the residents requested it to protect children playing in the area.
- approved an ordinance that amended the city’s municipal firearms code to bring it up to date with the state’s code.
- approved an ordinance to rename Sophia Court to Sophia Lane in the Country Lane Place Development.
Nikki Overfelt-Chifalu is a reporter for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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