KINGMAN - Up at the North Pole, Santa Claus is shining his belt and boots, the elves are busy making toys and the reindeer are putting in extra time at the gym in preparation for their 'round the world flight Dec. 24 - about 500 hours from now.
In the meantime, the city's Parks and Recreation Department has a number of traditional events planned.
Parade of Lights
Head downtown Saturday at 7 p.m. for the annual Very Merry Parade of Lights and stand in awe of the colorful, well-lighted floats and walking entries. Candy and giveaways will be handed to children along the route and Santa Claus will be in attendance. The route is Beale Street between First and Sixth streets and awards will be given to the Best Lighted Marching Group, Best Lighted Float and a trophy to the grand marshal.
Stroll up Fourth Street to City Hall right after the parade for the Eighth Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Hot cocoa will be served, along with treats, games, live music and Christmas Cards for Soldiers.
Sponsors are the city of Kingman and its Youth Advisory Commission, Kingman Regional Medical Center and UniSource Energy.
Phone call from Santa
Parents and guardians have until Monday to register to receive a special telephone call from Santa, according to Deputy City Clerk Donna Walden.
The forms can be picked up at City Hall, the Parks and Recreation Department and at local schools. They can be mailed at the city's red North Pole mailboxes, which are located at City Hall, the Recreation Department at Centennial Park and Fire Station No. 3 on Sierra Road at Gordon Drive.
Children ages 3 to 9 are eligible for the phone calls, which began Monday and will continue until Dec. 18.
Santa is looking for volunteers to assist with calls. If interested, call the North Pole Hotline at 928-757-7919.
A letter from Santa
A contingent of Santa's elves will be in Kingman until Friday in order to deliver your child's Christmas greetings to Santa, who has promised to answer every letter from every boy and girl who writes him.
Children (or their parents or guardians) must include a self-addressed stamped envelope with their letters, which can be deposited in the holiday mailbox at the Parks and Recreation office at Centennial Park, or mailed to Kingman Parks and Recreation, c/o North Pole, 3333 Harrison St., Kingman, Az., 86409.
Breakfast with Santa
Bring your kids and your camera to Golden Corral Restaurant Dec. 12 and enjoy breakfast with Santa.
Pick up your meal voucher at the Parks and Recreation office at Centennial Park (3333 Harrison St.) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until Dec. 11. A single voucher is good for the entire family and photos with a holiday frame will be available for purchase, $3 for one or $5 for two. They will be available for pick up at the Recreation Department after Dec. 16.
Call Beth Matthews for more information.
Polar Bear Plunge
Start the New Year invigorated, if not a bit chilled, by participating in the 15th Annual Polar Bear Plunge - precisely at noon on Jan. 1 at Centennial Pool.
The event has grown exponentially over the years and the plunge is free to everyone who wants to participate. Warm showers will be available afterwards.
The Parks and Recreation Department advises the near freezing water temperature is not for everyone - such as someone with a heart condition or a history of heart-related issues. If you have any doubts, consult a physician before taking part. All plungers do so at their own risk.
Editor's note: There are plenty of other activities this month organized by private organizations, including concerts and other events. Read all about it in the Kingman Daily Miner.