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Carthage comes back form pandemic with bigger, better Christmas celebration

With their big plans for last year’s Christmas cancelled due to COVID-19, Vision Carthage says they have reignited the community’s holiday interests for a comeback in 2021.

Vision Carthage Executive Director Abi Almandinger told The Heartlander that in the spring, their organization brainstormed and brought new ideas to the table in order to bring the holiday spirit back in full this year.

Vision Carthage is an 11-member, non-profit board whose desire is to beautify, invest in and produce positive changes within the City of Carthage.

For 2021’s holiday season, the city has revitalized the downtown square to include an entire Hometown Holidays Christmas Village complete with carolers, a snow maze, a 30-foot snowman bouncy house with a 100-foot slide, a photo op trolley, a synthetic ice skating rink and visits from Santa Clause himself.

A 60-foot light tunnel leads the way into the winter wonderland with over 20,000 lights on the south side of the square.

Almandinger says that the synthetic ice skating rink is made out of a plastic material that self-heals itself after people have skated on it.

“That works for us in this environment with our climate,” she said. “Just last week, we had 70 degree weather so this is the great solution for us to not have to try to keep the surface frozen.”

Admission to enter the hometown Holidays Christmas Village is $10 per individual, or $25 per family of two adults and up to four children. Hours are varied from Thursday – Sunday and runs until New Year’s Day. The fee to ice skate is $5 per person and skating sessions are offered every 45 minutes on the hour.

The City of Carthage has lined the town with Christmas decor and will feature a new event this year called, ‘Sparkle in the Park’ in Central Park. Carthage Parks and Recreation has partnered with Carthage Water and Electric to completely engulf the entire park in lights. The display will be visible for viewing from dusk until dawn, each day until December 31st.

The Carthage Water Tower will also stand as a signal of holiday spirits as it will be completely covered in additional Christmas lights.

The Congregation of the Mother of the Redeemer (CRM) began building their own display in 1984 within the Carthage community. The half-mile tour of lights features over one-million bulbs and is perfect for a drive-through or walking experience.

Electro-art displays are also spread throughout the tour with each one representing a variety of stories from the Bible that share the history of human salvation. The CRM display is free to the public and runs until New Year’s Day from 6 P.M. – 10 P.M. It is located at The Immaculate Heart of Mary Shrine at 1900 South Grand Avenue with the entrance on Fairview.

Additionally, Mt. Moriah United Methodist Church offers a dancing lights display set to Christmas music. The computerized lights are programmed to play five songs that play in an endless loop. Volunteers will be on-site to assist with parking and other questions. The display can be enjoyed from 5:30 – 9:30 P.M. until December 30th, excluding Sunday, December 19th. Those interested can view a preview of the light display on their Facebook page.

–Ben Cain | HeartlandNews.com