By, Macy Goodnight; November 2020: Wagoner is a city of wonder during the holiday season. It is truly a Christmas destination, offering something the whole family will enjoy.
The 2020 Wagoner Christmas Parade theme is Christmas Vacation, with many lighted floats and marching bands.
The Wagoner Christmas Committee: pictured left to right; back row: Justin Wiley, Kenneth Peters, Kristen Mallett, Laura Townsend, Mayor Albert “AJ” Jones, Dell Davis, and Fire Chief Kelly Grooms. Front row: Laura Young, Rhonda Hash, Lori Hall
The season’s celebrations are highlighted by a brilliant nightly light show, including over 80 lighted displays and “a million or more lights!” The city’s celebration will run from November 21 through December 27. The Winter Concert Series will begin on the 21st, with award-winning performers, Southern Raised. Lights on will take place on November 25, with a tree lighting ceremony in downtown Wagoner at 6 p.m.. Other festivities will include many more performances at their annual Winter Concert Series, Christmas parade, a 5k run, photos with Santa, and a Christmas storytime, as well as a residential and business decorating contest. The famous and traditional lighted snowflakes will also make their return, as well as the “oddball” snowflake that visitors seek to find each year. The holiday’s events are a partnership of the City of Wagoner, Wagoner Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Wagoner, and the Fort Gibson Lake Association, to bring the best of the season to visitors and residents.
New this year, visitors will experience 26 new lighted displays, in addition to new “singing trees” displays. “We’ve added thousands and thousands of new lights, thanks to GRDA,” said Kenneth Peters, Director of Parks and Recreation. Laura Townsend, of GRDA, said, “We’re proud public partners with the City of Wagoner since 1947.” Each year, multiple organizations at Wagoner High School contribute to the assembly of the massive light displays. “It’s like a STEM project for the school,” said Laura. The success of the light show, which is animated and computerized, contributed to the expansion of the displays this year. The automated show is from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. each night. The Wagoner High School music production class under the direction of Jeremy Williams, created this incredible production.
The Winter Concert Series will not only include Southern Raised, but other performers will be Brad and Mary Kay Henderson with a jazzy Christmas on December 12, as well as an all-star evening with regional favorites, Spring Street, Heartland Express, The Bazemore Family, and The Roving Gamblers on December 5, at the Wagoner Civic Center.
This year’s Christmas parade will take place on December 3 in downtown, at 7 p.m.. This year’s theme is Christmas Vacation. “Entries will be whatever they interpret that to be,” said Kristen Mallett, of Wagoner Chamber of Commerce. “It could be the Griswolds, The McCallisters, city, or beach; anything to do with Christmas vacation.” Over 65 characters will be on floats during the parade. Candy will be handed out, and those distributing it will be masked for safety. The parade is filled with a myriad of lighted floats, as well as numerous marching bands.
Wagoner is a historic and charming city at any time of the year, but at Christmas, it is a gift of warmth and beauty. The spirit of the season is alive and vibrant there. “Christmas is a time of hope and belief, and one thing’s for sure in 2020,” said Mayor Albert “AJ” Jones, “we want to get people to come to Wagoner so we can spread some holiday cheer.”
Southern Raised will kick off the celebration beginning the Winter Concert Series on November 21.
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