Columbia businesses participate in Living Windows festival

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COLUMBIA - Columbia businesses prepare for a break from holiday sales to take part in sharing the holiday spirit.

Over 20 downtown businesses are participating in this year's Living Windows festival.

The Downtown Community Improvement District (CID) sponsors the annual event. CID volunteers said what makes the event unique to Columbia is the often unconventional holiday performances and displays, and it helps to build a relationship between local companies and the community.

"Businesses aren't just focusing on money, they're participating in the spirit of the holidays," said CID volunteer Lydia Troth. 

Businesses are known to clear space in their window displays for small live skits or live mannequins. Themes for the displays range from live nativity scenes, Disney or popular culture-inspired costumes and themes or elaborate holiday decor. 

The Mid-Missouri Alumni Chapter invited alumni and community members to attend the festival as a group event.

Cook said its their first time organizing something, but she said she hopes is will help to keep the holiday spirit alive despite the increasing focus on consumerism. 

"It's all about your preference," said Tania Cook, event coordinator for the Mid-Missouri Alumni Chapter. "I think it is an event that everyone can enjoy."

The group will meet at McNally's at 5 p.m The Living Windows festival is Friday December 5 from 6-8 p.m.

Businesses participating this year include: 

  • Alpine Shop
  • ARTlandish Gallery
  • Blanc Studio
  • Bluestem Missouri Crafts LLC
  • Calhoun's
  • Columbia Access Television
  • Commerce Bank
  • Elly's Couture
  • First Christian Church
  • Günter Hans- Artisan Café
  • Imago Gallery & Cultural Center
  • Lo & Behold 
  • Makes Scents
  • Maude Vintage Clothing & Costumes
  • Missouri Theater
  • Missouri United Methodist Church
  • Muse Clothing
  • My Secret Garden
  • Mustard Seed Fair Trade
  • Rally House
  • Tallulah's
  • The Candy Factory
  • Vinyl Renaissance & Audio of Columbia
  • Poppy 
  • "We Always Swing" Jazz Series