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Holiday festivities start this weekend with North Platte's mayor kicking things off
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Holiday festivities start this weekend with North Platte's mayor kicking things off

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The switch will be flipped to the holiday season this weekend — literally.

North Platte Mayor Brandon Kelliher is scheduled to activate the lights for both Santa’s Workshop and the Winter Wonderland at Cody Park Saturday night.

The 6 p.m. ceremony is part of a holiday celebration at the park from 4 to 9 p.m. An appearance by Santa Claus from 6 to 8 p.m. will be part of the event that also will feature horse-drawn carriage and wagon rides, as well as the children’s rides in the park.

In addition, the concession stand will be open and people can walk or drive the paved paths to see the decorated trees and scenes that are spread over the property.

The Winter Wonderland at Cody Park, 1601 N. Jeffers St., is open nightly from 5 to 10 p.m. through Dec. 30 for people to take in the holiday displays.

The concession stand at the park will be open 6-8 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

It is not the only seasonal event scheduled in the city in the next couple of weeks:

» The drive-thru Christmas Village at the Lincoln County Historical Museum, 2403 N. Buffalo Bill Ave., is scheduled to open at 6 p.m. Dec. 3.

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The village will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday over the first three weeks of December. The village will be also open for visitors the same hours Dec. 23 and 24.

» A Winter Wonderland will open at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds, 5015 Rodeo Road, from 4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 11.

The event, which features activities and drive-thru lights, will repeat at the same time on Dec. 18.

» A Christmas Kids Fest is scheduled for downtown North Platte at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 2.

The annual event traditionally has been held at the Neville Center for the Performing Arts and consisted of games and activities as well as a Santa Claus visit.

» The Downtown Parade of Lights is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Dec. 9.

A few holiday events are different from past years.

Christmas at the Codys’ will not be held for the second-straight year due to the pandemic. Adam Jones, director of Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park, said people will be allowed to drive through or walk the grounds to see the buildings’ exterior decorations.

However, due to restrictions, people will not be allowed inside the main house or other structures.

In addition, a Santa Claus visit at the District 177 mall remains in flux. Bridgette Thompson, the director of property operations, said the mall is still trying to coordinate when that visit could happen.

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