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Today's word on journalism

Monday, January 29, 2007

Words as weapons:

"When he had a pen in his hand it was like giving a kid a machine gun."

--Peter Hall, theater director, on "Angry Young Man" playwright John Osborne (1929-1994)

Hyde Park mayor hopes new holiday traditions will outlast his term

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 years ago.

"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 years.

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.


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