For over 60 years, the town of Marceline has been selling peanuts on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It has become a winter tradition known as Peanut Night.

A bag of peanuts costs $1, and every bag has a prize. Merchants in town put pens, coupons and other items in the bags as small gifts.

Peanut Night in Marceline is a kick-off to the holiday season. Along with bags of peanuts, there is a crafts festival at the community center with 60 to 70 vendors.

At 5:30 p.m., traffic will be lined up along the four-block downtown streets to buy peanuts from volunteers on street corners.

At 6 p.m., a horse-and-wagon team brings Santa Claus downtown, and he then travels to the city park to turn on the Christmas lights. He returns to his Santa house where children can greet him.

“It’s just a nice, homey small town way to kick off the Christmas season,” said Chris Ankeney, secretary-treasurer of the Marceline Area Chamber of Commerce.

Weather is always a factor, she said.

“If it’s really cold, then people will grab their peanuts and go home,” Ankeney said. “If it’s a nice evening, people will stroll and there sometimes will be carolers. Windows will be decorated for Christmas and they’ll walk the streets to look at them.”

For more information, call 660-376-3347.

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