Festive events kick off Christmas season in Cape Girardeau, Jackson

Though you likely have plenty of Thanksgiving leftovers, the Christmas season is upon us and there will be several festivities that kick off this weekend.

* The Jackson City Park "flip the switch" party will take place at 4:30 this afternoon with a ceremony to begin at 5 p.m. The Jackson Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry and Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary will be collecting non-perishable food for humans and pets.

* In downtown Cape Girardeau the inaugural Old Town Cape Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m. The 30-foot tree is located at the Vasterling Suites Courtyard on Broadway. The Jerry Ford Ensemble and Christmas carolers will perform at 5:45 p.m.

* The Hutson's Art Van Christmas window is now up on Main Street in Cape Girardeau. This is a fun local tradition now in its 31st year. Make sure to plan a visit (or several) to see this year's theme.

* The Cape County Park Holiday of Lights Display is now open. Local businesses and organization always do an impressive job with festive displays and lights.

* On Sunday evening, the Old Town Cape Parade of Lights will begin at 5 in Capaha Park and head east along Broadway. Runners with Kim's Toybox Run will kick the parade off, and those interested in participating can still register at 4 p.m. Sunday by paying $10 or bringing an unwrapped toy donation.

There are plenty of other festive events in the coming weeks. Keep checking Page 2A of the Southeast Missourian and the community calendar at semoevents.com.