Mexico residents who remember, as children, standing in line an hour to visit with Santa Claus and afterwards visiting Montgomery Ward's and Lawrence Toy Land to fill their wish lists, may have a chance to revisit that type of nostalgia.
A recently formed Downtown Decorating Committee has been formed in Mexico, with the idea of making downtown Mexico a winter wonderland. The idea started with thoughts of decorating the Jefferson Street Park on the east side of the Mexico Village Square, but has since expanded to include much more.
Now, along with having more cheerful holiday decorations and external lighting downtown, special events are planned such as living window displays and carolers dressed in period clothing.
Those interested in more information about the committee and the plans that are being made for the holidays are invited to join the committee for a "Christmas in July" reception at the Mexico Area Chamber of Commerce office from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday. Refreshments and adult beverages will be served.
"I remember as a kid standing in line to see Santa Claus and then going to Lawrence Toy Store, and I'd love to see that nostalgia again," committee chair Chris Newbrough told The Mexico Ledger. "Maybe not the same exact thing, but just the feeling."
Newbrough said that type of atmosphere made it feel like Christmas. He hopes the downtown businesses, area schools and churches will join the fun.
"We're trying to get the business community involved and let us set up living windows, and see if any church choirs are interested in caroling. There are so many ideas that we can go with," Newbrough said. "I've even talked with the schools and asked their elementary first, second and third grade classes to participate in an essay contest that will give the winner a chance to ride on the fire truck with Santa Claus in the Christmas Parade."
Newbrough encourages those interested to attend Thursday's reception and share in the committee's enthusiasm. The committee is working with Ameren Missouri and Consolidated Electric about putting lights on all the buildings around the square, and getting permission from the business owners. According to Newbrough, an unidentified donor has already agreed to pay the utility cost to run the lights. However, they are still looking for funding sources to pay for the incidentals.
"So, come on out and join in the fun and see what we're about," Newbrough urged.