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Second Annual Christmas in July at the historic Licking Mill

                                                                                                                                    Photo by Christy Porter
Award-winning artist Lanie Frick designed
this deer to fit the theme of the grinding mill. 
This deer is the first of what will hopefully be many
 throughout the town, as part of a city-wide art project.

                                                                               Photo by Shari Harris
It wouldn’t be Christmas without Santa –
Summer Santa, that is! Santa and his newest 
reindeer in training, Snowflake, 
entertained these youngsters from Iowa.

                                      Photo by Shari Harris
Saturday’s event was due in large
part to the efforts of Suzie Blackburn,
on behalf of Licking Downtown, Inc.
Blackburn regaled listeners with
stories of old days in Licking.

By Shari Harris

A nice breeze and afternoon clouds graced the day as vendors and shoppers enjoyed a Saturday on the lawn of the historic Licking Mill. The second year for Christmas in July saw an increase from eight vendors to 14, selling and showing their handiwork, and a steady, slow stream of customers allowed for social distancing.
The first deer of the city-wide art project which will be sponsored by Licking Downtown, Inc., was on display in front of the mill. Designed and painted by Lanie Frick, the cornfield used to decorate both sides of the leaping deer fit the history of the grinding mill perfectly. Drive by and be inspired, as the art project is planned to progress throughout the community soon.

The Wildcat Travel Club operated a popular booth, raising funds for their 2021 EF Tour WWII Trip. The youth were busy serving pulled pork, hot dogs, nachos, squealing nachos, chips, drinks and homemade ice cream. They were also selling RADA seasoning mixes and kitchen utensils.

                                                                                                     Photo by Christy Porter
The “fair food” trucks had a mostly steady 
stream of customers throughout the day.

The most visited vendors were likely the food trucks set up on the street in front of the mill. Customers denied the usual summer carnivals due to COVID-19 spied the booths and walked over to purchase “fair food.” Pork rinds, kettle corn, lemonade, Sno Kones, and Uncle Charlie’s Deep Fried Sweets including funnel cakes, deep-fried Oreos and other fried goodies were too good to pass up.

                                                           Photo by Christy Porter
The Bushwhackers band provided old-time
country and western music at the event.

The Bushwhackers provided classic country and western music from the Licking Mill porch twice during the day, entertaining vendors and their customers. Suzie Blackburn led tours of the historic mill and told stories of days gone by, when a World War II Licking hero returned home.

                                                                         Photo by Christy Porter
Santa’s reindeer pranced through the
millworks on an unexpected tour.

The day ended with a visit from Santa Claus. Santa appeared in his summer garb – shorts, a yellow-green t-shirt, sunglasses and a green Santa hat. Santa was a little slimmer, but promised his bowlful-of-jelly belly would return by December, as he planned to dine on an abundance of yellow sucker beginning in September. Santa had spent a great part of the day assisting a local Stream Team gather four tons of trash from the river, yet was still able to summon the energy to answer youngsters’ questions. He encouraged the children to spend the rest of the year looking for ways to help out their families, whether it meant being a good big brother, or helping their parents. Three young boys from Iowa were impressed with Santa’s knowledge of fishing and enjoyed talking to him and having their pictures made with him.

A larger number of vendor participation this year
gave attendees great shopping options.

Vendors packed up their belongings with a smile, and the second annual Christmas in July at the historic Licking Mill can be considered a success.


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