The calm night was beautiful  and many people were seen walking or driving slowly around Jean Russell Park, which is bordered by La Mesa Drive and Country Club Drive on Christmas Eve. Over 2,000 sacks and candles were set out by neighbors.


    The calm night was beautiful  and many people were seen walking or driving slowly around Jean Russell Park, which is bordered by La Mesa Drive  and Country Club Drive on Christmas Eve. Over 2,000 sacks and candles were set out by neighbors.
    This Christmas Eve tradition is probably one of the longest-running neighborhood traditions in Dodge City. It all began in 1986, when Sam Davis and several neighbors decided to set luminarias out on La Mesa for Christmas Eve. The simple candlelight on the tree-lined street was beautiful.
    That April, Sam was killed in a plane crash, so the neighborhood decided to plant a pine tree in the center of the park which could be decorated yearly and surround the park and neighboring homes with luminarias, all in remembrance of Sam. A summer picnic is held yearly to meet new neighbors and explain this tradition. In December, sacks and candles are distributed from a neighborhood home. The average homeowner spends $25 each year. The simple candlelit streets are meant to remind everyone to slow down and take the time to enjoy Christmas Eve.