As many as 20 downtown merchants are expected to participate in Saturday night’s Living Windows on historic Main Street in Van Buren.
Living Windows, sponsored by The Old Town Merchants Association, is held in conjunction with the lighting of the Crawford County Courthouse and the eighth annual Festival of the Trees sponsored by the ambassadors of the Van Buren Chamber of Commerce.
Raye Montgomery of Main Street Ice Cream said Living Windows turns downtown into a live history lesson when merchants unveil active window displays depicting Van Buren’s colorful past, including quilting, butter churning, candy making, popcorn stringing, leather working, crocheting and china painting from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m.
Montgomery said there will be train and carriage rides. There also will be live music on a stage at the depot.
Downtown will be closed to vehicular traffic for Living Windows.
The annual lighting of the courthouse, hosted by County Judge John Hall, will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday.
The lighting ceremony will include prelude Christmas music by Daniel Watson, Kevin King and Timothy King, followed by the welcome by Hall and Jackie Krutsch, executive director of the chamber. Presentation of the colors will be by the Van Buren High School JROTC color guard.
Jennifer Brammer will sing the National Anthem with additional music from Kimberly Parker, who will perform "Who Would Imagine a King" and "This Christmas," and Chris Keith.
The Rev. Chris Johnson, pastor of First Baptist Church of Van Buren, will deliver a short message and prayer for the military and families. The Rev. Gary Perry, pastor of Visionary Christian Church, will give the closing prayer.
The lighting ceremony also will include the announcement of the winners of the Festival of Trees by Krutsch and Alisa Kelly, chairman of the Festival of the Trees.
Programs for the lighting ceremony will be distributed by Girl Scout Brownie Troop No. 4848.
Cookies will be provided by Crawford County employees, Van Buren chamber and members of Extension Homemaker clubs in Crawford County. State Farm Insurance, Dustin Booth and Associates will provide hot chocolate, Momentum Church chili and Arvest Bank and CV’s Family Foods hot dogs.
Santa Claus will be at the Albert Pike School House on the courthouse lawn for photographs.
The eighth annual Festival of the Trees through Dec. 26 will be sponsored by Chapel Ridge Health and Rehab, Crawford County Judge John Hall and staff, Dustin Booth Insurance, Morton Family Denistry, Summit Medical Center and Van Buren Advertising and Promotion Commission.
Tree sponsors are Arkansas Valley Electric Co-op, Arvest Bank, BancorpSouth, Centennial Bank, Citizens Bank & Trust Co., Crawford County Optimist Club, Hampton Inn of Van Buren, Hill Vision Center, Hope’s Creek Retirement Living, Kiwanis Club of Van Buren, Morton Family Dentistry, Penmac Staffing Services, Press Argus-Courier, Rhodes Chevrolet, Rotary Club of Van Buren, Strategic Realty LLC, Time Striping Inc., The Old Town Merchants Association, Ultimutt Dog Care, United Federal Credit Union and Van Buren Citizens Police Academy Alumni.