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Mingle and Jingle on the Square

Crittenden County rings in the holiday season

Crittenden County rings in the holiday season

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Crittenden County rings in the holiday season

By JOHN RECH

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The Marion Courthouse Square transformed into the valley of love and delight as Mingle and Jingle drew a big holiday crowd packing the courthouse square in Marion with families Thursday evening. The event produced by Molly Hoffman, Meg Webb, Shelby Jo Moore and Lisa O’Neal delighted good little boys and girls. Santa, signing, food trucks and shopping on the sqaure drew Marion residents to the celebration. A petting zoo with nativity animals, a kiddy train ride around the parking lot, and crafts with Delta Arts kept kids occupied until Santa arrived. The square centered on the tree lighting to ignite the festivities.

Sweater weather conditions proved ideal for the holiday gathering. Neighbors circled for conversation. Children had plenty to delight about. Santa and Mrs. Clause perched in fluffy armchairs and listened to gift wishes next to a gingerbread house decorated with cookies and candy canes. A camel, donkey. llama and goats provided pets. Some of those animals have often been depicted in nativity scenes.

The burro headed the Christmas animals. The little burro is the only animal in the world with a cross on its back and served as a reminder to the beginning and end pf the Lord Jesus’ life on earth. According to the original Christmas story, Jesus’ mother Mary, road a burro into Bethlehem where she gave birth to the Savior. As an omen of things to come, Jesus rode on a burro into Jerusalem for His passion week which ended on the cross. The winter holiday originally commemorated the birth of Jesus.

Shoppers circled the sqaure sampling boutique offerings. Ally B’s Cafe served many with a waiting line out the door and across the street for most of the evening. Food trucks dotted the lot with offerings from pork rinds and lemonade to burgers and deserts.

Marion Visual and Performing Arts School led the Christmas tree lighting countdown with Marion Police Chief Brannon Hinkle. The group caroled for the crowd. Dancers in A-line tree dresses delighted all by dancing around the Christmas tree to the tune, you guessed it, ‘Dancing Around the Christmas Tree’.

A train ride pulled by Thomas the Tank Engine thrilled the children. A big green John Deere tractor provided holiday color for photos of kids brave enough to climb the stairs on the rig. Delta Arts provided Christmas crafts for the kids on the square.

The next Christmas celebration in Marion is a holiday parade tomorrow evening, at 6:30 p.m. The parade is set to march up Block Street from to Military Road and head East to Highway 77.

Photos by John Rech

Kids posed for family Christmas Card caliber photo at the gingerbread house. When you find yourself in a place just right twill be in the valley of love and delight.

The Christmas tree took center stage on the Marion Courthouse square during the Mingle and Jingle.

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