Jefferson City Residents Kick of the Holiday Season

Related Story

JEFFERSON CITY - Behind most long standing traditions are a community of people working to keep these traditions alive. Jefferson City resident Sam Bushman has devoted his time to see that the Living Windows event occurs each year.

"It's a lot of work, but I wouldn't have it any other way. The community really comes together for events like this," Bushman said.

The Jefferson City Living Windows event started in 1988 and with the participation of local businesses and churches the number of people in attendance has increased each year.

Last year the event brought out nearly 25,000 people.

Many people travel from states as far as Wisconsin to take part in the deep history of traditions.

One favorite tradition is one dating back to the Great Depression.

"Santa Claus would come to the bank and hand out Hershey chocolate bars to kids. In many cases this was the only gift they received," said Lance Stegeman the business development officer at Hawthorn Bank.

Children packed the Hawthorne Bank Friday evening to speak with Santa and receive their candy bars.

Other residents filled the downtown streets and listened to Christmas carollers and enjoyed freshly made kettle corn.

Another favorite of the event is the High Street Elf dressed in from head-to-toe in green and red fabrics.

"I used to rent my costume, but after a few years I thought it would be best if I invested and purchased it," said Janet Ousley who has been the High Street Elf for the past 17 years.

About 50 stores and churches participated in this year's event.

The Living Windows event is free to the public and held the first Friday each December.