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Mill lighting starts the Christmas season

Photo by Shari Harris
Children enjoyed a visit with Santa, many having very candid conversations.

By Shari Harris, Publisher

The historic Licking Mill was alight with Christmas cheer on Saturday evening, November 27. A line wound along the porch, down the steps and to the street as children waited with their parents to see Santa and Mrs. Claus. A small area was prepared inside and children sat and told Santa their wishes and more.

Photos by Shari Harris

A table with hot cookies and cocoa greeted visitors on the west side of the mill, and kids’ games could be found in back to the delight of many youngsters, while Christmas music set the mood for the season.

The annual Lighting of the Mill was moved forward a week to separate from the day of the parade, when youngsters visit Santa, go to the toy giveaway, and finish with the parade, leaving no energy remaining for the mill lighting. Saturday’s toy giveaway will still be held on the porch of the mill, however.

Suzie Blackburn enlisted the assistance of a few Licking FFA members to prepare for the evening, and Mother Nature gave a helping hand with a mild day that became a little cooler as the sun set. Other Licking Downtown, Inc. members offered hot cocoa and cookies. The Texas County Museum of Art and History had volunteers vital to the event as well.

The annual fundraiser is one of several events held at the historic landmark, and funds are necessary to maintain the aging structure. Construction is currently underway to replace boards, so much of the mill was closed to visitors for the event. This will prepare the building for painting in the spring. Anyone wishing to contribute may send donations to Licking Downtown, Inc., P.O. Box 713, Licking, MO 65542.

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