The holidays are quickly approaching, and Gardner has plenty in store for residents anticipating this time of year. The city has planned five festive events, with something available for everyone, to help celebrate this year’s holiday season. 
The events, scheduled throughout late November and early December, are as follows: 
• Christmas in the Park/Mayor’s Tree Lighting (Monday, Nov. 26, 7 p.m.): The 28th annual Christmas in the Park event will mark the beginning of the holiday season with the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and other festivities. In addition to Mayor Steve Shute reading a message and a lucky individual getting to join him in turning on the park’s light display, the all-ages event will also feature the arrival of Santa and seasonal music performed by area students. Attendees can expect a nice surprise during the event as well. The event will be held at Cornerstone Park, 215 N. Center St. 
• Santa’s Workshop (Monday, Nov. 26, immediately following the Mayor’s Tree Lighting and Sunday, Dec. 2, 5-6:30 p.m.): Parents can bring their children to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus and share their Christmas wishes. The event will be held at Cornerstone Park, 215 N. Center St. 
• Breakfast with Santa (Saturday, Dec. 8, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.): Families can enjoy a pancake breakfast at the North Pole! Kids will have the opportunity to make crafts and get their photo taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus for purchase. Tickets will be pre-sold for $5 at City Hall until noon on Dec. 7 and will also be available at the door for $6 (children under the age of one are free). The registration fee does not include the cost of photos. The event will be held at the Johnson County Fairgrounds’ Green Building, 136 E. Washington St.
• Mayor’s Holiday Home Decorating Contest (Tuesday, Dec. 11 and Wednesday, Dec. 12): This decorating contest is fun for the entire family! It is open to homes within the Gardner city zip code (66030). Winners will be chosen for the Most Creative Display, Most Twinkling Lights and Mayor’s Choice. Judging will last from 6 to 10 p.m. on Dec. 11 and 12. Submit your entry form and fee of $5.00 (per house) by 5 p.m. on December 10.    
• Flashlight Candy Cane Hunt (Thursday, Dec. 20, 5:30 p.m.): Hundreds of candy canes will be hidden in Cornerstone Park, 215 N. Center St., for participants to find using their flashlights. The event is open to children ages 2-12. There is a registration fee of $3. 
For more information on these events and all upcoming Parks and Recreation events, visit Online payment information can also be accessed by way of this site. Register in person at City Hall, 120 E. Main St.