Living Windows Festival

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COLUMBIA - Downtown Columbia will transform into a winter wonder land Friday night.

Shops, banks and churches in The District will participate in the Living Windows Festival. Businesses will take the night to clear their windows of merchandise and provide the community with a live holiday performance.

"It's a lot of fun," said Yellow Dog Bookshop owner Joe Chevalier. "We used to go tour the living windows, before we had the shop, with our daughter, and I think it's just a great time for everyone."

He said this is the third year his shop has participated in the event.

"I think we'll have a fun display," Chevalier said. "It will be entertaining to watch because our children will be in it. They'll be the living part of the living window."

He said the event is a great way for people to experience all downtown has to offer.

"I think it will be a lot of entertaining displays and it will be a great chance to see the independent businesses we have down here," Chevalier said.

Jimmy Spear, First Christian Church associate pastor, said the living windows are a great way to get people into the holiday spirit.

"The first Friday of December is a great time in downtown Columbia," Spear said. "People are walking along the streets and observing Christmas in the windows and on lawns of churches. So we're just glad to be a part of the north side of the downtown experience."

He said he enjoys seeing the church get excited about the event and interacting with the community.

"First Christian Church has for many years, in connection with the Living Windows, provided the opportunity to observe the story of Jesus' birth depicted by costumed children and adults with music and narration, just to give a beginning to the advent season," Spear said.

He said church members enjoy participating in the event because it allows them to share what Christmas means to them.

"It's a great opportunity for children and adults to get excited about Christmas and share the story that they've been learning all their lives, and it's a part of downtown which we like to be a part of," Spear said.

 The event will be from 6-8 p.m.