MOUNT VERNON — A Christmas festival is coming to town this holiday season. Main Street Mount Vernon has decided to opt for a new tradition, a three day event instead of just the traditional Christmas parade. The event will take place the first weekend in December and will carry the theme “Christmas in the Movies.”

Carrie Hyman, executive director of Main Street Mount Vernon, said the change is in part to make the season a more celebratory and community-oriented event.

“We have a very artistic and creative community with much to offer as far as holiday shopping,” Hyman said. A small group of local businesses started meeting in February to discuses what they could do.

They decided to do a three day festival to allow for a more family friendly entertainment, time for shopping and exploring downtown, and a creative kickoff for the holidays.

“The date change was a request from many of our local business,” she said. “Thanksgiving weekend is a time to spend with families, along with Black Friday and Shop Small Saturday. It gives (people) time to enjoy the spirit without being rushed.

“The Christmas Festival Committee wanted something versatile that the shops could utilize for the window display contest and participants could be diverse in the parade,” she said when asked about the theme. This allows for a variety of Christmas movies to be utilizes, ranging from the “Christmas Story” and “Elf” to the Nativity.

She hopes this will be a way to celebrate downtown for the holidays and create a new tradition that can be built upon.

The Christmas Festival will kick off on Friday Dec. 6 with lights and carols at 7 p.m. Santa Claus will be escorted to the square where he will start the festival with the lighting of the Christmas Tree. Local musical groups will lead a Christmas music sing along.

Christmas theme entertainment will be provided Saturday for the Christmas Showcase running from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Events include pictures with Santa at his house on the Square, Mrs. Claus’s workshop to decorate cookies and write letters, a Secret Santa Shop for kids to shop for gifts, a Christmas Tree decorating contest, an old-fashioned carousel and much more.

The parade will be Sunday at 2:30 p.m. The parade route will come up from South Main Street around the square before ending at the Living Center on North Main Street. Prizes will be given in many different categories, like in years past.

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Jamie Holland: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @



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