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Celebrating the holidays: Papillion, La Vista to host annual holiday events

Celebrating the holidays: Papillion, La Vista to host annual holiday events

Before the last bite of pumpkin pie is finished, the holiday season begins in earnest with beloved annual traditions from the cities of Papillion and La Vista.

Papillion’s Winter Wonderland festival on Saturday, Nov. 27 brings back all the favorites to the historic downtown area. The Papillion Community Foundation and the City of Papillion organize the annual evening. Veridian Credit Union and Meta (formerly Facebook) are “diamond sponsors.”

Attendees will be able to walk, eat and shop throughout downtown free of traffic concerns when the streets shut down at 4 p.m. Then it is a bevy of activities with Santa on a firetruck, music, carriage and trolley rides, and the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree and lights throughout the town.

“We are thrilled we are able to have the event this year,” said Laura Schwartz, Executive Director of the Papillion Community Foundation. “It is our special version of a Hallmark movie right here in Papillion.”

In La Vista, Santa will be winding his way through the streets of town on Sunday, Nov. 28 for the annual “Santa Sleigh Ride” at 3 p.m. The next day, Monday, Nov. 29, the city officially turns on the lights at the Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5:45 p.m. All sponsored by the City of La Vista.

Here’s a look at activities, according to information provided by organizers:

Saturday, Nov. 27 — Winter Wonderland, Papillion

4 to 9:30 p.m. — Downtown area shut down for Winter Wonderland

4:30 to 9 p.m. — Trolley Rides with North and South Drop-offs

Park the car and hop on for a ride through the heart of the Winter Wonderland. The North Trolley goes from Tara Plaza, 84th Street and Hogan Drive (for parking) to Sixth and Jefferson Streets and Second and Adams Streets and back. The South Trolley goes from Papillion Landin to City Park and back.

4:30 to 7:30 p.m. — Pancake Man Fundraiser — Papillion Fire Station 3

Come early and get pancakes. All you can eat for $8 per plate. Kids under three eat free. All proceeds benefit the Papillion Community Foundation Mission. Sponsored by Bianco Stroh LLC.

4:30 to 8:30 p.m. — Visit with Santa’s Reindeer — Historic Portal School

Come see real reindeer. Sponsored by the Papillion Animal Hospital.

4:30 to 8:30 p.m. — “Candy Cane with a Cop” and Toy Drive — Sump Memorial Library

Help families who are struggling this holiday season by bringing a new, unwrapped toy and enjoy sweet treat with police officers and deputy sheriffs from Sarpy County law enforcement agencies.

4:55 to 5:10 p.m. — Winter Wonderland 2021 Parade

Santa Parade begins at Papillion Middle School and brings Santa north up South Washington Street to the Historic Portal School.

5 to 5:20 p.m. — Middle School Band Performances — Winter Wonderland Stage

Come and enjoy a Christmas Concert performed by the Papillion La Vista Community Middle Schools Bands

5 to 6 p.m. — KGOR 99.9 Prize Wheel — Sump Memorial Library

Spin to Win passes to Disney’s newest feature film “Encanto.”

5 to 7 p.m. — Free Popcorn — Winter Wonderland Stage

Enjoy free popcorn, courtesy of Capehart Family Dentistry and distributed by members of the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council

5 to 8 p.m. — Hot Chocolate — Sump Memorial Library

While supplies last, grab a cup of free hot chocolate at the Sump Memorial Library on the way to visit Santa. Courtesy of Cobalt Credit Union, and hand crafted by the Papillion Professional Firefighters Local 3767.

5 to 8:30 p.m. — Carriage Rides — NE corner of Second and Washington Streets

Enjoy a free holiday carriage ride and create Hallmark memories. The line will form at 5 p.m., with the line moving up the sidewalk on the side of the library. Six adults can ride the carriages at a time.

5:10 to 8:15 p.m. — Visit with a Winter Princess — Papillion Community Foundation offices (109 N. Washington St.)

Visit with a winter princess, sponsored by Papillion Orthodontics. Bring a new or gently used coat, hat, mittens, scarf or snowsuit for the Papillion La Vista Community Schools.

5:15 to 8:15 p.m. — Visit with Santa — Historic Portal School

5:25 to 5:55 p.m. — PAC Band Performance — Winter Wonderland Stage

Come enjoy the annual Christmas performance of the PAC Band, directed by Ken Molzer

5:30 to 8 p.m. — Library Story Time and Coloring — Sump Memorial Library

Story Times are 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. inside the library

6 to 6:15 p.m. — Lighting Ceremony — Winter Wonderland Stage

Join Mayor David Black on the lawn of the Sump Memorial Library, when he and the winners of the coloring contest flip the switch to turn on the lights on the Christmas Tree, City Park and Downtown Papillion. Citizens State Bank is sponsoring the music, stage and light show for this year’s event.

7 to 7:30 p.m. — Reading of “The Night Before Christmas” — Winter Wonderland Stage

Grab what is left of the popcorn and hot cocoa and hunker in for a classic tale as read by Mayor Black.

7 to 8:30 p.m. — Meet and Greet with Frosty the Snowman — Kajoma’s Fashion Boutique (104 E 1st St.)

<&underline>Sunday, Nov. 28 — Santa’s Sleigh Ride, La Vista</&underline>

Santa and his entourage will be visiting La Vista, travelling a pre-determined route starting on the west side of 84th Street and progressively work his way east. The approximate times are 3 to 5 p.m. on the west side and 5 to 7 p.m. on the east side. Elves will be handing out postcards and candy canes as well and live tweeting along the way. The route maps are on the city website:

<&underline>Monday, Nov. 29 — Tree Lighting and Santa’s Wonderland, La Vista</&underline>

La Vista’s annual Tree Lighting Celebration will take place on Monday, November 29, beginning at 5:45 p.m. in the City Hall parking lot. After Santa lights the tree, he will go down to his workshop where he will visit with children. Santa will be on the deck of the workshop until 7:30 p.m. greeting children and families from a distance. The reindeer will also be there and folks can walk through a La Vista Wonderland and enjoy multiple photo opportunities in Central Park. Mrs. Claus will be there as well, inside the workshop with a special pre-wrapped treats for the kids.

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