WICHITA, Kan. -- This week's extremely cold temperatures have force the cancellation of some weekend Christmas events, but organizers of other events are working with the cold as best they can.
The organizers of evening Christmas parades in Derby and Liberal originally scheduled for this weekend said the cold would have been downright dangerous for spectators. Derby canceled this year's parade and Liberal pushed its parade back a week.
Other events and attractions where visitors can at least take a break from the cold are going ahead as planned.
"Fortunately, we're not having a blizzard and a lot of moisture and things are still great," Marty Miller, Botanica's executive director, said.
Illuminations at Botanica are the gardens' biggest attraction each year. Miller expects this year to be no different, even with the arrival of cold weather.
"This cold is really part of December and part of Christmas, but we tried to make up for that because we have patio heaters around the light shows (and) different chimineas," he said.
Friday evening's cold weather did not deter Penny Billington and her family. She, her husband and their children enjoyed the light displays at Botanica. In fact, Billington said, the cold was helping the family get into the Christmas spirit, especially one of her daughters.
"She was sitting there saying, 'This means it's getting closer to Christmas,' so she was excited," Billington said.
Another big Wichita attraction, Lights on St. Paul, can be enjoyed from the warmth of a car. However, volunteers still have to be out in the cold, which can be dangerous.
"We make sure we're rotating them in and out throughout the night," Kevin Fish, executive director for the ARC of Sedgwick County, which hosts the light display. "It keeps them safe and it keeps them in good spirits so that they're very, very kind when our drivers come through."
Fish agrees the cold weather is a nice way to usher in Christmas.
"It's hard to think of Christmas if you're wearing short sleeves and it's 65 degrees," he said. "It's hard to imagine it's right around the corner."
At Botanica, Billington said the sights can warm the heart and make the cold weather less noticeable.
"When you get to walking and stuff, the cold doesn't bother you as much," she said.