Christmas and holiday shopping events as well as the annual parade are planned for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights in historic downtown Van Buren.
Late night shopping will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday as merchants continue the Living Local initiative designed to attract more people to Main Street in downtown Van Buren. Featuring festival-style events, Living Local will include shopping, entertainment, food and music through Dec. 15.
Living Local is a joint venture of The Old Town Merchants Association, Van Buren Original and Van Buren Advertising and Promotion Commission.
The weather-postponed Mocha and Mistletoe and a Living Windows encore will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday.
Mocha and Mistletoe will be at the Blanche Moore Memorial Park. There will be singing on Stage 9, vendor booths, free hot chocolate, lights and festivities along with the night shopping.
Participating businesses will have live scenes in their storefronts and shop windows depicting Christmas traditions and festivities. Many will be open with holiday treats available.
Blanche Moore Memorial Park will host the Holiday Market on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, noon to 6 p.m. on Friday and noon to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Holiday Market will conclude Dec. 14, 15 and 16.
The annual Christmas parade and Christmas Open House on Main will be Saturday.
The parade, sponsored by The Old Town Merchants Association, will begin at 6:30 p.m. at 14th and Main streets and continue downtown where it will end at the Crawford County Courthouse.
Special guest of the merchants association will be Santa Claus, who will distribute candy to the children as the parade progresses down Main Street. No other Santa Claus entries or horses will be allowed in the parade. All beauty queens and pageant royalty are welcome but must furnish their own vehicles.
TOTMA is asking all floats be lighted.
On Dec. 15, the Van Buren Chamber of Commerce invites members for a special night celebrating the Christmas season.
The organization will host its Holiday Open House from 5 to 8 p.m. at the downtown chamber office, 510 Main St. The event will feature delicious refreshments and the opportunity to visit with chamber and community leaders.