The first annual Joplin Holiday Experience 2008 with a weekend of activities for the whole family will kick-off on December 4 at 6 p.m. with a community Christmas Carol sing at the First United Methodist Church, 501 W. 4th St. Vince Lindstrom, pictured at left, director of the Joplin Convention & Visitors Bureau, made the announcement at City Hall recently before an audience of city hall workers, interested citizens and the media.
While the word "holiday," is much maligned by Christians when used in place of "Christmas," the event in partnership with the city of Joplin and the Joplin Public Library and other non-public organizations uses the word but leaves out the diversity of the season that goes with it.
Lindstrom, with much aplomb, spoke of an event that he attended in Mystic Seaport, CT with about 20,000 people in which the first verse of every Christmas carol was sung accompanied by the Boston Pops. Well, Joplin won't have the crowd or the Boston Pops but he is enthusiastic about the caroling that will take place at the First United Methodist Church in celebration of Joplin's sacred places.
Nancy Morton, at left, representing the Historic Murphysburg Preservation confers with Vince Lindstrom, director of the Joplin Convention & Visitors Bureau, about her group's involvement in the Joplin Holiday Experience 2008. A series of programs at various churches in the Historic Murphysburg District will play a key role in the celebration and will include a surprise musical presentation, stained glass tours, and a view of the historical sanctuary at the First United Methodist Church. (Photo by Vince Rosati)
Bob Dopp announced that the annual Christmas parade sponsored by the Joplin Jaycees will take place at 5:30 p.m. on December 6 and run from 20th Street along Main to Second Street. The theme will be "Walking in a Winter Wonderland."
Dopp asked for "nice, gentle, little snow...no rain" to authenticate the event. He also appealed for volunteers to enter their lighted floats by the November 15 deadline. To register a float phone (417) 624-8552.
"The holiday season is an exciting time to get families together," Lindstrom said. He also implied that he would spare everyone from his tin ear.
The schedule of activities includes:
Thursday, Dec. 4
- 6-7:30 p.m. - Community Carol Sing, First United Methodist Church, 501 W. 4th St.
- 7:30 p.m. - Living Christmas Tree, a musical presentation at Ozark Christian College, 1111 N. Main St. For details go here.
Friday, Dec. 5
- 6:30-7 p.m. - In Spiva Park, 4th & Main, Children's Christmas tales will be read by the staff of the Joplin Public Library; the city of Joplin will host the lighting of the Christmas tree and caroling; and the Post Memorial Art Library will host a reception indoors entitled "Wassail at the Post Library."
- 1 p.m. (children's matinee) & 7:30 p.m. - OCC's Living Christmas Tree (see above for details)
Saturday, Dec. 6
- 8-11 a.m. - Enjoy Breakfast with Santa at the Joplin Museum Complex, Schifferdecker Park. Cost is $5.00 per person.
- 10 a.m.-noon - Missouri Historic Preservation will host an event at City Hall, 602 Main St.
- 11 a.m.-9 p.m. - The Bistro Art Gallery at 405 Main and the Gallery @ 506 will conduct a showing of local artists and sale.
- Noon-4 p.m. - Loft tours will take place at various locations. Tickets at $15 each are available at local downtown businesses.
- 1-3 p.m. - Christmas caroling will take place at the Joplin Museum Complex.
- 2-4 p.m. - A photograph with Santa at the Spiva Center for the Arts, 3rd & Wall, will include an opportunity to create a decorated frame. The fee of $10 benefits SpivaKids Fun Fund.
- 2-3 p.m. - A Stained Glass Tour will take place at St Peters Church, 812 Pearl St.
- 4 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. - OCC's Living Christmas Tree (see above for details)
- 4-5 p.m. - Musical presentation at First Presbyterian Church, 509 Pearl.
- 5:30-7:30 p.m. - Joplin Jaycees Parade, ""Walking in a Winter Wonderland"; refreshments will be served after the parade at the First Christian Church Disciples of Church, 409 W. 4th St.
Sunday, Dec. 7
- 4 p.m. & 7:30 p.m - OCC's Living Christmas Tree (see above for details)
- 4-5 p.m. - A musical presentation will take place at St. Philip's Episcopal Church, 708 Byers.
- 6-7 p.m. - A musical presentation will take place at the First Christian Church Disciples of Christ, 409 W. 4th St.
Chanukah, the eight-day Jewish holiday in honor of the historic victory of the Maccabees and the miracle of the oil that is not mentioned in Joplin's celebration, will be observed beginning at sunset on December 21 through December 29. Also left out is Kwanzaa. Although not technically a religious celebration, it is an African community and African American holiday that this year has the theme, "Kwanzaa and the Seven Principles: Repairing and Renewing the World." It will be celebrated from December 26 to January 1, 2009.