Holiday Stroll- Ball

Laekyn Ball, 1, poses with Frosty the Snowman during Friday’s Holiday Stroll in downtown Muscatine.

BETH VAN ZANDT/MUSCATINE JOURNAL

Downtown Muscatine will come alive this Friday night for the Holiday Stroll and I would like to officially extend an invitation to you to be there. It is a fabulous night that showcases the sights and sounds of the holidays, but if you look closely, you will see that the arts are alive and well in our community. Musicians young and old will be out in force. Visual arts will be everywhere, including giant gingerbread men and the many artisan works for sale throughout the downtown. Live painting will take place immediately across from live makeup and hairstyling. Art comes in many forms and it will all be on display Friday night.

This year’s event is presented by the Muscatine Journal and Toyota of Muscatine. The theme is “A Storybook Christmas” and children of all ages will get to mingle with holiday characters up and down the street and can even have their photo taken with Belle in a Beauty and the Beast-inspired setting. It’s even rumored Santa will make an appearance (or even several).

Many of us have grown up with the Holiday Stroll. I don’t remember when I first attended, but I remember my first years as coordinator. Sharlene Elam, former owner of Cookie Crumbs gave me excellent advice. She told me that at one point you just have to relax and know the activities will happen and people will come. Most won’t know what you couldn’t get done, only you, so just try to enjoy the event. So, as I stress over how many trash cans we will need and where we should place them to combat the onslaught of hot cocoa, I must also give a big thanks to city services behind the scenes that help me to make it all come together.

Barricades, street-closings, security, and, of course, the all-important trash cans. This event wouldn’t happen annually without their support and guidance. My appreciation also goes to the sponsors big and small, all willing to share of their resources to make sure this event continues for the community. Thank you as well to the many downtown businesses who truly go above and beyond to make sure their windows are decorated, the cider and cookies are stocked and some even recruit professional and volunteer musicians to fill the street with holiday sounds. Their dedication astounds me each and every year.

Check out today’s Hometown Extra edition for the official schedule of events or look for the link on our website at muscatinejournal.com.

Enjoy the 33rd annual Holiday Stroll.

Jaime Limoges is the general manager of the Muscatine Journal and the coordinator of the 2017 Holiday Stroll.

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