In the News
Expanded festival lineup offers more
White County residents will have several days of activities to choose from for this year’s “It’s a White County Christmas” celebration. Glenn Coleman, executive director of the Carmi Chamber of Commerce which produces the event, said the festival committee has responded to the wishes of the community in scheduling this year’s events.
Opening weekend will be held Friday, Nov. 18 and Saturday, Nov. 19 and feature several retail events, including the annual Holiday Stroll by Carmi retailers. Shoppers will have an opportunity to register at all the cooperating stores to win a grand prize exceeding $500 in value.
The White County Home and Community Education will open the doors to the Taste of Chocolate Contest at 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18. The Historical Society will also have all the local museums open throughout the opening weekend and following weekend.
On Saturday, Nov. 19, several events will return to the celebration. The Festival of Trees by the Wabash Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Old National Bank. A holiday food bazaar will be held at the First United Methodist Church from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. A gift and collectible sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Two new events have been added to Nov. 19. The Reindeer 5K Run/Walk, sponsored by First Bank of Carmi, will begin at 10 a.m., followed by Reindeer Games for children in the bank parking lot. A scholarship queen pageant will begin at 5 p.m. at the Carmi White County Middle School. Miss Merry Christmas will be crowned and reign over the festival. Contestants must be 16 to 21 years of age and live in White County. Little Miss and Mister Merry Christmas, featuring youth in kindergarten and first grade, will also be selected.
Entries for the gingerbread house decorating contest will be accepted from 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 19 at Town and Country Real Estate’s downtown building. The houses will be on display throughout the following week.
Several traditional Christmas events have been moved to the weekend of Thanksgiving.
“Last year, several people in the community expressed concern that we were rushing the season in holding our events prior to Thanksgiving,” said Coleman. “So, we have moved some of the more traditional family events to later in the celebration.
The annual lighting of the city’s Christmas tree will be Friday, Nov. 25. Surprises await the people who attend, Coleman said, as some of the characters from favorite holiday movies and books will come alive in music and dramatization. Several downtown store owners will also reveal their storefront windows which will be decorated for the holidays for the Winter Wonderland Window Contest.
Santa will arrive in Carmi during the annual Christmas Parade at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 26. The parade will be held on Main Street, and the street will be closed to traffic to allow families to enjoy the parade and other festivities.
The annual children’s concert, featuring the voices of over 100 grade school children from Carmi, will begin at 3 p.m. at the CWC Middle School gymnasium. In addition to the joint choir, directed by Hyla Lamp, the concert will feature a variety show.
Families may also enjoy horse and carriage rides throughout the festival weekend.
The annual Christmas cookie sale, sponsored by Emmanuel United Methodist Church, will be held at 8 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. That day will also feature a house tour of historic and decorated homes in the area.
Rob Endicott will return to the area for the final event of the festival, the Gala Dinner Dance to be held Saturday, Dec. 17 at the Carmi VFW.
Entry forms for all the events, as well as more information, are available at the festival website at www.whitecountychristmas.com.