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There was a lot of dancing among the younger set as holiday lights were turned on Saturday evening at The Legends Outlets in Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)
There was a lot of dancing among the younger set as holiday lights were turned on Saturday evening at The Legends Outlets in Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)

A large crowd turned out to watch the holiday lights turned on Saturday night at The Legends Outlets in Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)
A large crowd turned out to watch the holiday lights turned on Saturday night at The Legends Outlets in Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)

Santa Claus arrived in a car and walked to the stage for tonight's holiday lighting ceremony at The Legends Outlets. (Staff photo)
Santa Claus arrived in a car and walked to the stage for tonight’s holiday lighting ceremony at The Legends Outlets. (Staff photo)

Santa Claus encouraged the crowd to get loud to turn on the lights Saturday at The Legends Outlets. (Staff photo)
Santa Claus encouraged the crowd to get loud to turn on the lights Saturday at The Legends Outlets. (Staff photo)

During an hour and a half before the tree lighting, those attending heard live music performances. (Staff photo)
During an hour and a half before the tree lighting, those attending heard live music performances. (Staff photo)

The holiday lights cast a green glow on the stage during the holiday lighting Saturday at The Legends Outlets.
The holiday lights cast a green glow on the stage during the holiday lighting Saturday at The Legends Outlets.

The 45-foot tree in the center courtyard came alive with synchronized lights Saturday at The Legends Outlets, Kansas City, Kan.
The 45-foot tree in the center courtyard came alive with synchronized lights Saturday at The Legends Outlets, Kansas City, Kan.

The 45-foot tree in the center courtyard came alive with synchronized lights Saturday at The Legends Outlets, Kansas City, Kan.
The 45-foot tree in the center courtyard came alive with synchronized lights Saturday at The Legends Outlets, Kansas City, Kan.

The 45-foot tree in the center courtyard came alive with synchronized lights Saturday at The Legends Outlets, Kansas City, Kan.
The 45-foot tree in the center courtyard came alive with synchronized lights Saturday at The Legends Outlets, Kansas City, Kan.

The crowd was entertained by live music before the holiday tree lighting Saturday at The Legends Outlets. After the tree was lit, Christmas carols were sung. (Staff photo)
The crowd was entertained by live music before the holiday tree lighting Saturday at The Legends Outlets. After the tree was lit, Christmas carols were sung. (Staff photo)

The crowd was entertained by live music before the holiday lighting Saturday at The Legends Outlets. (Staff photo)
The crowd was entertained by live music before the holiday lighting Saturday at The Legends Outlets. (Staff photo)

The crowd was entertained by live music before the holiday lighting Saturday at The Legends Outlets. (Staff photo)
The crowd was entertained by live music before the holiday lighting Saturday at The Legends Outlets. (Staff photo)

The crowd was entertained by live music Saturday before the holiday lighting at The Legends Outlets. (Staff photo)
The crowd was entertained by live music Saturday before the holiday lighting at The Legends Outlets. (Staff photo)

The Grinch was spotted in the background at the holiday lighting Saturday at The Legends Outlets.
The Grinch was spotted in the background at the holiday lighting Saturday at The Legends Outlets.

LaDale Beason, a Wyandotte County resident, right, was wearing a bow tie and had a table full of  repurposed bow ties on display at the Eisenhower Community Center Craft Show on Saturday, Nov. 22. With him was his family, Deanna Beason, left, Kendall Beason, top center, and Erikah Jones, center. (Staff photo)
LaDale Beason, a Wyandotte County resident, right, was wearing a bow tie and had a table full of repurposed bow ties on display at the Eisenhower Community Center Craft Show on Saturday, Nov. 22. With him was his family, Deanna Beason, left, Kendall Beason, top center, and Erikah Jones, center. (Staff photo)

by Mary Rupert
Eisenhower Community Center today was filled with one-of-a-kind handmade items and holiday shoppers looking for the perfect gift.

Parking lots were full at Eisenhower Community Center, 2901 N. 72nd, today as shoppers got an early start on their holiday shopping.

All sorts of crafters – some hobbyists, some retirees, and some start-up businesses – displayed their items on tables at the recreation center. For some, it has been a year-long effort to produce the perfect present.

One popular gift, the necktie, had a new twist at the craft show.

LaDale Beason, a Wyandotte County resident, was there with his family displaying repurposed neckties.

“I make each and every one of them,” he said about his bow ties. His LKD Kustom Kreations table displayed many ties.

A hairstylist by trade, one day he just woke up with the idea of making repurposed bow ties, and ran with it, he said. He started making the bow ties in May.

He said he’s noticed there has been a resurgence in men wearing bow ties in recent years.

April Nevils was at the Eisenhower craft fair on Saturday with her father, who makes canes. (Staff photo)
April Nevils was at the Eisenhower craft fair on Saturday with her father, who makes canes. (Staff photo)

David Nevils, Kansas City, Kan., made canes from oak and hickory, each one different. One cane, he said, took him three weeks to make while another one took nine days.

He was at the craft show with his daughter, April Nevils, who said the canes were handmade in her dad’s garage.

“He started making the canes after my brother passed away,” April noted.

Their card says the canes are “original, hand-crafted works of art.” They were a very popular item.

Kimberly Pierce displayed povitica and other baked goods at Saturday's craft show at Eisenhower Community Center. (Staff photo)
Kimberly Pierce displayed povitica and other baked goods at Saturday’s craft show at Eisenhower Community Center. (Staff photo)

Kimberly Pierce, a resident of Wyandotte County, displayed homemade povitica and other baked goods at her table.

“I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years for Christmas,” Pierce said. “My kids think Santa Claus rocks.”

She added she had been working 10-hour days for two weeks to prepare for the craft show.

Photos with Santa Claus, played by Don Parish, were a benefit for KCK Special Olympics at Saturday's craft show at the Eisenhower Community Center. (Staff photo)
Photos with Santa Claus, played by Don Parish, were a benefit for KCK Special Olympics at Saturday’s craft show at the Eisenhower Community Center. (Staff photo)

Santa Claus was at today’s craft show, meeting with children and having his photo taken. The photos with Santa were a benefit for the Kansas City, Kan., Special Olympics program.

Don Parish, playing Santa Claus, said he was donating his time to the Special Olympics today. Special Olympics helped his late brother for many years, he said, and this was something he wanted to do for them.

Ladessa Donley of Kansas City, Kan., was wearing a Christmas pin she made at the craft show Saturday at Eisenhower Community Center. (Staff photo)
Ladessa Donley of Kansas City, Kan., was wearing a Christmas pin she made at the craft show Saturday at Eisenhower Community Center. (Staff photo)

Ladessa Donley of Kansas City, Kan., was displaying Christmas pins she made for $3 each.

“I can do five to six in one day,” she said.

Anita Walker of Kansas City, Kan., made several aprons that were on display at the craft show Saturday at Eisenhower Community Center. (Staff photo)
Anita Walker of Kansas City, Kan., made several aprons that were on display at the craft show Saturday at Eisenhower Community Center. (Staff photo)

Anita Walker, Kansas City, Kan., displayed aprons and casserole carriers that she made herself. It’s her second year at the craft show, she said.

She had several aprons with different designs on display.

“Once I get started, it doesn’t take that long,” she said about making the aprons.

Robert Blackmore, a resident of the Turner area, displayed airplane sculptures made from soda cans and beer cans at the craft show Saturday at Eisenhower Community Center. (Staff photo)
Robert Blackmore, a resident of the Turner area, displayed airplane sculptures made from soda cans and beer cans at the craft show Saturday at Eisenhower Community Center. (Staff photo)

Robert Blackmore, a Turner resident, was behind a table filled with airplane sculptures made out of soda and beer cans. A sign on the table read, “Can Do.”

He said he retired in 1994 after he fell on a construction job. He then started making and selling the can sculptures at craft shows 20 years ago.

The idea for the airplanes came from a time he saw one on display and thought, “I can do a better job than that,” he said.

Besides airplane sculptures, he also makes lamps out of recycled beer cans. It takes him three hours to make an airplane sculpture, and eight to 10 hours to make a lamp, he said.

Through the years, his plane sculptures have traveled widely, some even shipped internationally, he said.

Robert Blackmore of the Turner area of Kansas City, Kan., displayed lamps he had made from beer cans at the craft show Saturday at Eisenhower Community Center. (Staff photo)
Robert Blackmore of the Turner area of Kansas City, Kan., displayed lamps he had made from beer cans at the craft show Saturday at Eisenhower Community Center. (Staff photo)

Judi Roland of Kansas City, Kan., made salsa for the craft show Saturday at the Eisenhower Community Center. (Staff photo)
Judi Roland of Kansas City, Kan., made salsa for the craft show Saturday at the Eisenhower Community Center. (Staff photo)

Judi Roland, a Kansas City, Kan., resident and a retired teacher, said she has been displaying products at the Eisenhower craft show for 21 years, probably longer than anyone else.

“I enjoy visiting with people I see once a year at the craft show, so I keep coming back,” Roland said.

Passersby were trying free samples of Roland’s homemade salsa. It was for sale in jars for $5.

“I can’t tell you the secret,” she said when asked about its secret ingredient. “It’s just lots of love. It’s made with love.”

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The Cathedral of St. Peter, 409 N. 15th St., Kansas City, Kan. is sponsoring the fourth annual Nativity Display from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7. More than 100 unique nativities will be on display. Come and enjoy a magical experience that reflects the true meaning of Christmas. Admission is free. There will also be a bake sale, fundraiser and refreshments. For additional information, contact Terri at teschne046@yahoo.com.

“Scripture Study, Bible Sharing and Reflection, Lectio and Journaling,” a regular weekly series facilitated by pastoral minister, Heather Neds, is offered at Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan., from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Wednesdays. This weekly Bible study group is based on the upcoming scripture readings from the Common Lectionary. There will be time for reflection, sharing and journaling. Call 913-906-8990 to register.

Open Door Baptist Church, 3033 N. 103rd Terrace, is holding a raggedy doll ministry Christmas project workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday evening, Dec. 2, in Room 128. No sewing experience is necessary to make a doll. For information on materials to bring, contact Open Door, 913-334-7777.

Parkway Baptist Church, 12320 Parallel Parkway, is planning a Community Blood Center blood drive from 3 to 7 p.m. Dec. 15 in the church’s classroom area. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 816-753-4040 or visit www.savealifenow.org.

Persons of all Christian traditions are invited to participate in Taizé prayer on Thursday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. in Annunciation Chapel on the campus of the Mother House of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, 4200 S. 4th Street, Leavenworth, Kan. Taizé prayer is a meditative, candlelit service that includes simple chants sung repeatedly, silence, and prayers of praise and intercession. These prayer services emerged from an ecumenical community of monks in Taizé, France. For more information, visit www.marillaccenter.org or call 913-680-2342.

Stony Point Christian Church,
149 S. 78th St., is planning an all-church Thanksgiving dinner at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23, in the Cole Activity Center. Families will bring a side dish or dessert. Stony Point also is planning “The Sweet Memories of Christmas Program and Tasting Party” at 6 p.m. Dec. 14. There will be songs, readings, musical numbers or other performances.

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