Toy shop on tap


December 19, 2016 - 12:00 AM

One of Iola’s holiday highlights commences Wednesday evening when Santa’s Toy Shop opens its doors in downtown Iola.
For the fifth consecutive year, Iolan Tracy Keagle has collected — with help from countless donors from across the community — a vast collection of toys, candy and other treats for girls and boys of all ages.
She has been working nonstop in recent days in order to get the toys prepared for Wednesday’s activities.
The fun begins with the second annual Iola Kansas Kazoo Parade.
Organizers are eager to exceed last year’s turnout — 150 kazoos weren’t enough for the parade marchers — and this year, they hope to see 200 or so.
The parade route follows from Jefferson Elementary School, around the square, and to the elegantly decorated toy shop at 7 E. Madison Ave.
There, every child who enters the door will get cookies, hot chocolate and a candy cane. Also for the giving will be books, hats and gloves.
Then, the children get to visit with St. Nicholas himself.
When they tell Santa their wishes, they then are accompanied by an elf and choose their favorite of all the toys in the shop.
There is no cost, and no questions asked. Each child is welcome to take as much or as little time as they need to make their choice.
Organizers also are accepting donations for Humanity House, Keagle’s grassroots effort to combat poverty in Iola and Allen County, to ensure the Blessings Box in front of the courthouse continues to be filled.
In addition, Santa’s Toy Shop opening coincides with the unveiling of Humanity House’s new website,, which provides information about the group’s mission.
The Toy Shop is open from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and from 5 to 7 p.m. next Saturday — yes, he’s decided to spend as much time on Christmas Eve in Iola as possible before embarking on his global, overnight trek.

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