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Holiday window display at City Hall starts season of activities - KOAM TV 7

Holiday window display at City Hall starts season of activities

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -  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 6 p.m. Tonight (Thursday, November 20), 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. Thursday, November 20.

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 the Christmas villages that depict holiday scenes in quaint communities throughout the world. The village collection display is on loan from John DeCou, a Joplin resident.

In addition to the village displays, another area will focus on the Joplin Public Library with a scene of children visiting the library and enjoying the large variety of books. Other windows will offer a look at fun holiday times in a home setting, Santa's Workshop and Schifferdecker Park where Santa takes a break before heading out of town on his flight.

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 six years ago.

"Newman's Department Store was known by many in the area for their wonderful holiday window displays," said Hogelin. "We wanted to bring back some of the magic that many felt when shopping or visiting family in Joplin, plus 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. Last year's display featured Barbie, the doll that was introduced in 1959, and since has become a cultural icon. In addition, other windows focused on the mining history of Joplin with items from the Tri-State Mining District.

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.com  for more details or check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HolidayExperience
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