HANNIBAL | A Christmas tradition in downtown Hannibal will bring holiday scenes to life when the Festival of Lights Christmas Living Windows transforms Main Street from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14.
Katy Welch, chair for the 2019 Festival of Victorian Christmas, said the festival's kickoff on Small Business Saturday was “a huge hit.” The monthlong festival isn't slowing down, with a variety of live-action scenes reflecting a shared theme in storefront windows. Business owners and employees have been busy setting up festive arrangements for the Window Display Contest from Saturday, Nov. 30, to Christmas Day. Welch arranged ornaments and decorations on a towering Christmas tree donated by a by a customer and placed in the front window of Java Jive, and she said business representatives are eager to bring the fruits of their labors together for the big display along Main Street, leading up to a big conclusion at the intersection of Center and Main streets. “Several of the businesses have teamed up for one big theme this year, and we are going to have a grand finale at the end of the Windows at 8 p.m.,” Welch said. “It will have to do with a scene from the movie that is our theme this year.”
Welch said the preparation for the event is very similar to planning a wedding — props, displays, lights and other parts of the scenes need to be ready to go, and actors spend most of the day on Saturday preparing their hair and makeup for festive roles.
“It's always a hectic, crazy week, but it's so much fun,” Welch said. “This is my favorite event every year. Everybody is always excited.”
Java Jive employee Nikki Thordsen said this will be her third time participating in the Victorian Festival of Christmas. She looks forward to seeing the results of the hard work that goes into each living window display, and she especially enjoys interacting with visitors of all ages — some families have told her they come downtown each year just for the Victorian Festival of Christmas and are eager to return to businesses like Java Jive the following year.
“I know a couple of years ago, when we did the Wizard of Oz theme, there were a lot of kids, and when they came in, their eyes were bright and wide,” Thorsden said.
More information about the Festival of Lights Christmas Living Windows and the Victorian Festival of Christmas is available by visiting https://www.historichannibalmo.com/christmas.