Kingman plans finale for 50th birthday celebration
Kingman's yearlong 50th birthday celebration will end on the steps of city hall Saturday with special events during the annual holiday lighting ceremony.
The community was founded in 1882 when the railroad was built.
Kingman became the first city incorporated in Mohave County in 1952.
A committee has planned and conducted a variety of events, small in large, throughout 2002 to celebrate the birthday.
The Very Merry Parade of Lights will begin at 7 p.m.
at Locomotive Park.
The special city activities will begin following the parade.
The city will enter a birthday float in the parade, which is sponsored by the Downtown Merchants Association.
"The float committee is busy replacing the birthday cake used in the earlier parades with a Christmas theme," said Toni Weddle, deputy city clerk and co-chairman of the birthday committee.
"According to rumors, some of Santa's elves will accompany the city float."
Diane Shaw and Weddle suggest parade watchers walk Fourth Street from the bleachers to see the city hall events.
It is traditional to light the decorations on Kingman's city hall and the Mohave County Courthouse to start the festive holiday season in the city.
Kingman Park and Recreation Department employees have decorated the tree at city hall that will be lit Saturday evening.
The tree was planted as part of Kingman's celebration of the U.S.
Bicentennial in 1976.
"Santa will be at the steps of city hall to greet everyone," said Shaw.
"A jump house will be ready for the youngsters from 6 p.m.
to 9 p.m."
Christmas caroling, another Kingman tradition, will begin at 8 p.m.
following the parade.
Hay rides will begin about the same time.
Successful racers can win prizes in the 8:30 ice block races.
Entries will be taken on the city hall steps.
Weddle said hot drinks, popcorn and baked goods also will be available.
The city birthday committee began the year with an essay contest about Kingman open to students.
City Manager Roger Swenson was the first to enter the water Jan.
1 in Kingman's first Polar Bear Plunge.
The event received wide publicity and will be repeated this New Year's Day at the downtown pool.
A citywide block party in June in conjunction with the Yada Yada Parade and the Downtown Merchants Antique and Craft Show was a great success.
The city is considering making the block party an annual event that would bring people to historic downtown Kingman.
A fall employee appreciation dinner celebration in Laughlin was the final fun event sponsored by the city and the birthday committee.
Employees, elected officials, members of all city commissions and boards and spouses joined the evening.
A poker run on the trip to the Colorado River helped get everyone in the spirit.
The yearlong birthday celebration was a team effort by the mayor and council, city employees and residents, Swenson said.