Fort Riley’s annual holiday tree lighting ceremony takes place Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Ware Parade Field, 500 Huebner Road.
Highlights of the event include holiday caroling, entertainment by the 1st Infantry Division Band, refreshments and a visit from Santa Claus. Maj. Gen. John S. Kolasheski, 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley commanding general, is scheduled to speak before the flip is switched to light the tree, which stands in front of the Fort Riley garrison headquarters. Children will have the opportunity to visit with Santa Claus indoors following the tree lighting. Refreshments will be provided by USO Kansas, Fort Riley Center.
Operation Santa Claus will also be accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys in the $10 – $20 price range for children of Soldiers, E-5 and below. Monetary donations will also be accepted.
The event is open to the public. Visitors who do not have a Department of Defense ID card can get a pass at the Visitor Control Center near the Henry Gate, Exit 301 off of I-70. Under the Trusted Traveler Pilot Program, DOD ID cardholders may escort up to seven guests in a vehicle who do not have a DOD ID card or visitor pass. Only the Trusted Traveler will need to show a photo ID. For details about access procedures, call (785) 239-2982 or visit https://home.army.mil/riley/index.php/about/visitor-info.