Annual Historic Hannibal Living Windows event brings downtown storefronts to life with festive Christmas scenes

Window by window, Hannibal's historic Main St. businesses are preparing to share live Christmas scenes as part of the annual Historic Hannibal Living Windows event from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8.

Linda Studer, owner of Mississippi Marketplace, said she and several fellow downtown merchants have specific themes in mind for their live scenes to share with hundreds of passersby. She described her plans as “bright and colorful and cheery” and “probably a little elf-like,” and she said employees will be serving warm Wassail and sharing free samples with visitors. Just a few doors down at the Powder Room, a Disney theme is in the works. Studer said the surprise scenes all along Main St. continue a tradition that spreads the joy of the Christmas season.

“Of course, you never know what everybody else is doing, but it sounds like they've got some great participation,” she said.

Studer said the atmosphere with elaborate decorations, live-action scenes and interactive settings helps build special moments for children and rekindle memories for adults from past holidays.

“What I love about downtown and their store windows — it's the kind of windows people used to remember in their childhood from the big cities,” she said. “It's an experience, just to see the different windows — it's something you just can't get anywhere you go, like your regular stores.”

For Studer and her downtown neighbors, Christmas gifts are given and received between merchants and the crowds of visitors who fill Main St. each year to see witness scenes ranging from classical to comical.

“It's always fun — what makes it fun is not only do the merchants work hard to put their windows together — it's the people who come to Main St., everybody just brings the Christmas joy with them,” she said. “That's really what the fun part is. It's all that holiday energy that occurs with it.”

trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com