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34th annual Holiday Stroll

Muscatine residents gathered around to enjoy the lighting of the Community Christmas tree in the First National Bank Plaza during the 2018 Holiday Stroll.

When I came into work on Halloween, the streets were lined with snow and the temperature dropped into the teens. I think it’s only fair that we have good weather for the Christmas celebrations this year.

With one just a few days away, I’m optimistic we will get good weather for the event. The weatherman says clear and temperatures in the 30s. It will be a bit brisk, but hey, this is December. Given the lineup we have coming I don’t expect anyone will even notice the cold very much, as they will be busy with all the activities going on downtown.

Being brand new to Muscatine (I moved here last weekend), I’m really looking forward to seeing what kind of special events go on at the annual Holiday Stroll. I’m told the streets come alive with traditional Christmas events, including the lighting of a tree, plenty of musical acts, and food and cheer for everyone.

For people like me who are new to the community, the stroll is a 35-year-old festival in the downtown area that celebrates the holidays. As the sun goes down the holiday spirit will begin. A pre-stroll will be held at CBI with music by the Muscatine High School choir leading up to the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree at 5:30 p.m. From there, the evening kicks into high gear as dozens of shops open their doors and a plethora of organizations come out to wish the people of Muscatine happy holidays.

A co-worker gave me a flyer with a list of all the businesses open and offering holiday specials. It really is something. The best thing about a cold night is hot chocolate, and it looks as if there will be plenty of that. Several businesses have musicians performing through the evening.

BTW – Second Street from Mulberry to Pine will be closed from 3:30 to 9:30 p.m. to allow the crowds to cross streets.

Down along the river, the Muscatine Parks and Rec Department will have its annual candy cane hunt. Young people will get to gather candy canes in the dark and redeem them for prizes.

Basically, Friday is a great time to visit the downtown area, see the sights, enjoy the friendship of people out and about — and above all, just have fun.

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