Alton will hold Christmas festivities Nov. 28, starting with the 5 p.m. crowning of Mr. and Miss Merry Christmas and Little Mr. and Miss Merry Christmas on the south side of the Oregon County Courthouse. The annual parade will follow at 6 p.m.
“The event is one week earlier than usual,” said Tonya Willard, one of the organizers of the festivities.
“Every year, we seemed to have more and more conflicts on the first Saturday of December so we decided to try having our events a week earlier,” Willard explained. This year’s theme is Winter Nights and Magical Lights. The lighting of the tree on the courthouse lawn will again be part of the ceremonies before the parade. In addition, lights for the courthouse have been added to the town’s decorations.
So that residents of Shepherd’s View Care Facility will be able to watch the parade, the route has been changed to travel down the bypass and then around the square. Lineup will still be at 5:15 p.m. at Alton School. Although there is a float entry form online, all are welcome to enter the parade, whether or not they were able to access the entry form. Float prizes are given in three categories: Religious, Secular and Mr. and Miss Merry Christmas Candidate floats. First, second and third place ribbons are awarded for horses, and first and second place plaques are given for both antique and classic car entries.
Another event added to the evening will be community caroling in front of Shepherd’s View. This was organized by Jeff Trantham of T & T Sound.
“We all know that the pandemic has been hard on our elderly, and we wanted to include them in the celebration as much as possible,” Willard said. All are welcome to join the carolers in singing traditional songs of the season, led by Ann Dotson.
Th3 52nd annual event is sponsored by Alton Culture Club, a Missouri Women’s Federated Club. Proceeds from the election of both Mr. and Miss and Little Mr. and Miss Merry Christmas support the community activities of the local club including purchase of the town’s Christmas decorations, sponsorship of the annual Sophomore Pilgrimage, the student of the month program at Alton Elementary and senior citizen center projects.