POSTED ON BEHALF OF THE CITY OF JOPLIN
Holiday window display at City Hall starts season of activities
In the spirit of the holiday season, the windows of a downtown historic structure will again be decorated for all to enjoy. The public is invited to share in the excitement during the annual unveiling when the curtains are pulled back of the large windows of City Hall, 602 South Main. The opening takes place at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, November 25, with holiday refreshments served immediately following.
Formerly Newman’s Department Store, this five-story building was built in 1910, and was a main attraction for shoppers throughout the years. Window displays depicted the latest fashion trends and society standards. During the holidays, shoppers enjoyed the elaborate decorations of the season with holiday décor, specialty items and a large assortment of toys.
Following the unveiling, the downtown audience can join in the Holiday Tree Lighting event at Spiva Park, 4th and Main Street. Joplin Parks and Recreation staff host this event and plan to turn the lights on at 6:30 p.m. Monday, November 25.
Both events are fun annual activities for all ages to enjoy as kick off to the holiday season.
To bring back the window display tradition, City Clerk Barbara Hogelin and her elves work to create a fun look back to years past. Each year various reminiscent themes are used to reflect holidays of yesteryear. This year’s windows will offer displays featuring Barbie, the doll that has become a cultural icon since first being introduced in 1959.
In addition to The Wonderful World of Barbie, another area will focus on Joplin’s mining history with a collection of mining equipment and mineral specimens from the Tri-State Mining District including a Jackson Drill, Ore buckets and rails. Other windows will offer a look at fun holiday times in a home setting, outdoor park and reindeer scene.
The City of Joplin has decorated the windows since 2009. Hogelin coordinates the project with other City staff members and recruits area artists June Stokes and Dixie Boyd-Carter to complete the displays. Hogelin has worked with both ladies throughout the years for various projects and knew their expertise would be an asset to the window displays when the project started four years ago.
“We enjoy recreating window displays in the downtown,” said Hogelin. “It creates a fun and festive atmosphere for the holidays. Many of our citizens may recall Newman’s windows being elaborately decorated for the holidays, but the younger generation may not have ever experienced anything like this. We are happy to share a little piece of history with them.”
The construction part of the project is managed by Jeff Tennis and Rick Allen, Maintenance Mechanics for the City, who provide their knowledge and skills in the building and assembly of the various elements included to create various scenes.
The first year’s display in 2009 offered scenes of holiday magic through the eyes of a child. It received first place honors in the Outstanding Window Display category from the Missouri Main Street Association. The following year had a similar theme, and in 2011, the windows served as a tribute to the perseverance and resilience of the Joplin community and volunteers following the May 22 tornado. In 2012, the windows depicted scenic vistas and points of interest along Route 66, The Mother Road.
In addition to the window displays, the Joplin Model Railroad Club provides a working model train for all to enjoy. The Club has been part of the tradition since 2009, and each year offers new elements to their display. The 40-foot display, shown in the windows facing 6th Street, includes working trains traveling the miniature countryside.
Various other activities are planned throughout the holidays as well, so be sure to check out the Convention and Visitor Bureau’s website at www.visitjoplinmo.org for more details or check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HolidayExperience .
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