Hyde Park mayor hopes new holiday traditions will outlast
By Natalie Cook
December 11, 2006 | HYDE PARK -- Mayor Dave Kooyman
has begun two new holiday traditions in Hyde Park that
he hopes will last well beyond his years in office.
The organ concert on Christmas Eve and Ice skating
party the week after Christmas are two annual traditions
Kooyman instituted shortly after he took office six
"We really didn't have any [town traditions] around
Christmas and we wanted to bring the community together
by catering to families," Kooyman said.
Kooyman takes little credit for the traditions he
founded and keeps the focus on the betterment of the
community. "It's all about the tradition, bringing the
community together and that's the hope is to keep these
going once I'm gone," Kooyman said.
The organ concert is a tradition Kooyman carried over
from his childhood in Salt Lake City. Lynn Thomas and
invited guest performers play Christmas music on Christmas
Eve at 11 p.m. The concert is held in the LDS church
on Center Street and it has become a popular event.
"There are usually tons of people filling the whole
room," Hyde Park resident Nancy Thomas said.
The Eccles Ice Arena is reserved for Hyde Parkers
on Dec. 29 from 7 until 9 p.m. Residents may attend
free of charge but are encouraged to bring canned goods
to help the needy or donations for the Lion's Club,
which co-sponsors the event.
The city and Lion's Club pay $400 for the two-hour
rental of the ice arena. Three hundred or more people
are expected to participate based on attendance in past
These traditions will be sure to continue for the
next two years while Kooyman is in office, but he expects
people will like them so much they will continue as
long as we have Christmas.