Christmas festivities just around the corner

                                                                                                                                                            Photo by Shari Harris
By Shari Harris

Thanksgiving is upon us. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday herald the onset of the Christmas shopping frenzy. Along with shopping, Christmas parties, bazaars, charities, programs and more will fill our calendars. So mark the date now; Licking’s annual Christmas parade and downtown events, with special guests Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, are scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 7.
The day starts at 9 a.m. with vendors offering their Christmas wares at a Christmas Bazaar in the VFW Hall. This year, handmade crafts offered are quilts, table runners, crochet items, rag style items including rugs, crochet toys, aprons and tea towels. Woodcrafts such as engraved plaques, homemade signs, barn wood items and wood burning items will be for sale. Christmas décor, Christmas crafts and Christmas Jar mixes will be among the seasonal choices. Many other nice gift ideas planned at the bazaar include flower arrangements, jewelry, baked goods, candy, honey, purses, toy mats, reconditioned toys, homemade body salves, oils, tinwork and pottery.
Licking Downtown Inc. will be selling Licking Mill t-shirts, hoodies and Licking calendars. They will also be selling tickets for their gun raffle, a NWTF 12-gauge shotgun, with the drawing to be held at 6 p.m. that day. The VFW Auxiliary will be serving chicken and dumplings, hot dogs and chili.
Licking businesses competing in the window decorating contest should be prepared to have their efforts judged beginning at around 10 a.m. Don’t forget to notify Joan Brannam at TJ’s Flowers or Shari Harris at The Licking News if you are participating so they can send the judges your way. Check out the windows around town and see if you agree with the judges’ choices.
The Texas County Museum of Art & History will be open from 12 to 4:30 p.m., with their Cookies-Buy-The-Pound sale; the Current River Artist Market with unique, handmade gifts created by local artists including paintings, cards, quilts, jewelry, gourds, magnets and more; and the Friends of the Licking Library free book give-away to children up through high school.
Santa is scheduled to be at the VFW from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., to listen to the children’s Christmas wishes. There will not be a photographer this year so bring your phones or cameras to take a photo of your little one with Santa. And don’t forget the Toy Giveaway at the Licking Mill from 2 to 3 p.m., where Santa and his helpers will be handing out toys, including a boy’s and a girl’s bicycle.
Then it will be time to find your places for the parade. The theme for this year’s parade is Licking's Christmas Past & Present. The line-up is at 3 p.m. at the high school and start time is 4 p.m. Prizes will be awarded in two categories: Religious and Non-religious. First prize in each category will be $75, second $50 and third $25. All Churches, bands, groups, clubs and businesses are encouraged to come out and show their Christmas spirit. For more information, call Haley Floyd-Joyner at 417-217-8133.
Don’t forget Mrs. Santa Claus. She is scheduled to make an appearance at the Lighting of the Mill at 5 p.m. A large number of Christmas decorations were donated to the Mill last year, so this should be a spectacular lighting ceremony this year, with caroling, cocoa and cookies.
It promises to be a day of fun for all ages so mark your calendar now!



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