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Illumination Celebration is Thanksgiving Eve

By Diana New The 2016 Illumination Celebration ‘A Storybook Christmas’ is booked for Thanksgiving eve tomorrow night where Santa will make his debut appearance and turn the page for another holiday season. Businesses participating in the Window Decorating Contest downtown will have Christmas tales creatively drafted on their storefront windows and an array of gingerbread houses will be on display at Pastime Grill for voting throughout the day. Winners for both contests will be announced at the Illumination. Those still wishing to compete in the Gingerbread House Contest must have their applications turned in to the chamber of commerce by 5 p.m. today. Main Street will close tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. and contest voting will end as festivities commence with Legacy Center Praise Group. The praise group will set the mood for holiday happenings by singing Christmas carols downtown. Before heading to the celebration, all are invited to the First United Methodist Church’s Community Thanksgiving Service at 6:30 p.m. presented by the Lamar County Ministerial Association. Traditional Illumination Celebration events will follow the service at 7:30 p.m. downtown on Main Street. The Illumination program will feature performances from the elementary school chorus, Ozier Studio of Dance and the First Baptist Church choir. City administrator Kenneth Roberts will read ‘The Christmas Story’ and Belinda Pennamon will sing ‘O Holy Night.’ The program’s plot will thicken as Christmas lights illuminate downtown and children wait in anticipation for the arrival of Old Saint Nick. The man in red will make his appearance shortly following the lighting of the Christmas tree. Children will be able to have their pictures made with Santa at Reflections Photography until the celebration ends and the book closes on another festive Thanksgiving eve.

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