The mayor has super-powers, but you probably knew that already! One of my favorite gifts is to light the Mayor’s Christmas Tree, a tradition started 13 years ago by Mayor John Landwehr, with the power of sending a direct signal to the North Pole that comes back to light our tree in Rotary Centennial Park. I must also thank Santa’s Elves (a.k.a. JC Parks) for making the tree sparkle. Last year, they decorated with 190 strands of lights and 1,200 ornaments!

JCMO made Santa’s Nice List again this year! He’s always delivered what we’ve asked for. In 2015, we were excited to have our first ever Lincoln University student representative, Jonathan Jackson, on the city council; now we have Caroline Winjaro and a new LU President, Dr. Jerald Jones Woolfolk. We welcomed 25,000 visitors to the Historic Penitentiary for tours that year, and it’s now up to 35,000. We reminded everyone to wear their seat belts, whether it’s a primary law or not. Please #BuckleUpPhoneDown in your sleigh!

In Jefferson City’s stocking, Santa gave us a new Boys and Girls Club and Special Olympics Training for Life Campus; the Ken Lanning Golf Course, the only fully accessible golf course of its kind, right across the river; and a new high school coming soon.

And Santa, when you need to work off those extra calories after the holidays, just head to The Linc!

Santa, I’m sure you’ve already heard, we’re trying really hard to get into prison, but in a really Nice List kind of way! Well, mostly nice, except for when we rocked down the prison walls when Wynonna, Travis Tritt, and Big & Rich ROCKED Inside the Walls! And the best present came from Governor Mike Parson when he signed the deed for 30 acres of land at MSP for redevelopment.

Santa, soon you’ll be able to land your sleigh inside those prison walls. For now, the new lights of Capitol Avenue will guide you. And if you forget your sleigh, no worries — Spin bikeshare instead! Did you hear those Salvation Army bells? They’re the sound of hope for many in our community. Under Jefferson City’s tree, we bring toys and food for the Salvation Army and so many other worthy causes. Thanks to all who so generously give to others during this holiday season.

Santa, most of all, we ask for another great year for the people of our wonderful capital city! We’re reminded of how thankful we are to be in the best country on earth, in the best city on earth, and for all the freedoms we enjoy today, such as the freedom to thank the good Lord for our wonderful community! We are also thankful for those who serve our city and country in law enforcement and the military. This year, we welcomed crew from the USS Jefferson City and USS Missouri. Our hearts and pride are always with them and their families.

Back to the Nice List: how about all the children and students who sang and played their instruments at the tree lighting, and 7-year-old Hudson who helped light the tree last year? Santa, I know you heard about him raising money for hurricane relief with his lemonade stand.

Santa, I think we’ll all agree that Jefferson City has been very good again this year! Now for the countdown: 10 . . . 9 . . . 8 . . . Join us Thursday, November 29!

#MayorsTreeLighting

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