JCPL Column: Kick off the holiday season at Merry Prairie

Get in the holiday spirit at Johnson County Public Library’s Merry Prairie event at the Trafalgar library branch.

During this annual festive tradition, we celebrate the magic of the season with a visit from Santa, Silly Safaris Reindeer Reserve, hot cocoa, games and more. Merry Prairie takes place on Friday, Dec. 8, 6 to 8 p.m.

New this year is a holiday lighting contest. Show off your outdoor holiday decorations and enter the Merry Prairie Holiday Lighting Contest. Submit a photo or video of your lights and decorations via our website,, no later than Dec. 5.

We will notify the winner on Dec. 7. The winner will help light up the prairie and receive a $100 Visa gift card. Entrants must live in Trafalgar, Nineveh or Prince’s Lakes area.

Santa arrives at 6 p.m. and will be by the fireplace with Mrs. Claus and one of the North Pole elves. Bring your holiday wish list and capture a special family photo. Our indoor skating rink will be open for free skating in the community room; skate in your socks — no ice skates are needed!

You will also have a chance to meet one of Santa’s reindeer when Silly Safari’s Reindeer Reserve stops by from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Make sure you bundle up, as the reindeer will be outside by our holiday tree.

Be sure to vote for your favorite gingerbread house, too. Entries from our Gingerbread Contest will be on display throughout the library branch. There’s still time to enter — the contest is open to all ages. Bring your entry and the registration form to the Trafalgar branch between Dec. 1 to 7. Construct your house from a kit or use homemade gingerbread. The public will select winners, so pick up a voting slip at Merry Prairie and cast your ballot for your favorite design.

We will also have games, crafts, face painting, karaoke and caroling, and you can meet Bibli, the JCPL mascot. Don’t miss the special snowy surprise to welcome you into our holiday celebration. There is something for the whole family at our festive celebration, and we hope you will join us this year for Merry Prairie!

Kelly Staten is JCPL’s Programming Manager. JCPL staff members share in writing this twice-monthly column for the Daily Journal. Send comments to [email protected].