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“A Tremendous Success” Hutchinson City Council Reflects on Saturday’s Lighted Christmas Parade


By Lucky Kidd


HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Many positive reactions to Saturday night’s Ad Astra Radio Downtown Hutchinson Christmas Parade were reflected in comments made during Tuesday’s Hutchinson City Council meeting.

Vice-Mayor Greg Fast wasn’t able to attend the event, but said he watched the parade from afar. 

“I think it was a huge success and I think those people that helped organize that need to be recognized,” Fast said. 

Fast also recognized the general public for accepting the change of this year’s parade and for their overall support in the event. 

Interim City Manager Mary Grace Clements, one of the celebrity judges, spoke of a conversation she had with fellow judge and Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce president Debra Teufel, who remarked it felt like a Hallmark movie.

“People were screaming Merry Christmas across the streets. It was just a wonderful experience, and I can’t wait to see how we’re going to step it up,” Clements said.

She and the Council also had much praise for city staff for their assistance, including from Mayor Jon Richardson, who represented Santa in the parade, who said every city employee he came across was “into it” and appreciated their participation.

Council member Steven Garza was also in the parade, and said it was a tremendous success, noting he’d never seen that many people at a parade before.

Council member Stacy Goss was especially positive about one change made this year, the banning of vehicular parking along a portion of Main Street. Parking on Main has long been a tradition for parades in downtown Hutchinson, and Goss said that concerned her from a safety standpoint, and said people often try to cut through when a parade is coming. 

“That always frustrates me because people are already in the street, people already have their chairs up and whatnot,” Goss told her fellow Council members, adding, “This parade, I think, the safety was without a doubt there.”