Are you looking for something fun to do with your loved ones that won’t break the bank this holiday season? Consider joining us for Christmas in Downtown on December 3!

The Vinton County Chamber of Commerce has been hosting this event for eight years and considers it a  Christmas gift to the community. I for one am very excited about this year’s schedule as it seems to be growing every day. This year’s theme is “Christmas Down on the Farm.”

Christmas in Downtown is a one day event meant to attract people to downtown McArthur for an afternoon and evening of music, food, shopping, family fun and Christmas cheer.  It also features a craft sale, a Chinese auction, a parade and a Sleigh Bell Ball sponsored by the Vinton County Jaycees.

Other activities that day will include sales, raffles, a petting zoo,  giveaways and free refreshments offered by participating downtown businesses. There are always activities for the kids, free wagon rides and plenty of good things to eat. Those activities will be held from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.  During these hours, visitors are invited to participate in the $100 punch card drawing. Each person who takes a punch card to a specified number of participating businesses can be entered in a drawing for $100 cash.

Here are a few images from past Christmas in Downtown celebrations:


Shepherd’s House will hold a Chinese Auction from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the McArthur United Methodist Church. Many beautiful crafts, gift certificates and other great items will be available for the Chinese Auction. There will also be a silent auction with autographed photos, autographed books and original oil paintings. Food and baked goods available too. Doors open at 11 a.m. and the drawings will begin at 4 p.m. All proceeds will be used to assist victims of domestic violence and their families in our community. Call 596-9271 if you would like to make a donation.

Another big event that day will be a Craft Sale at the McArthur Presbyterian Church. That sale will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will feature an array of crafts and handmade items. Crafters are now being sought for this sale.  And of course the thing that most youngsters look forward to the most is getting to meet the jolly old elf himself – Santa Claus! Santa will be escorted into McArthur during the 21st  annual Christmas parade that starts at 6 p.m. He will visit with all the good little girls and boys of Vinton County at the courthouse following the parade.

While visiting the Courthouse be sure to check out the Community Christmas Tree that is sponsored by the Vinton County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau (CVB). This tree is decorated with ornaments that have been donated over the last few years in honor or in memory of a person or family. You can donate an ornament for the tree by dropping it off at the Vinton County Visitors’ Center/Chamber Office. The staff will attach a tag identifying who donated the ornament and who the ornament honors or memorializes. There is no cost to participate and the ornament will be kept year after year.

To cap off the evening, the Vinton County Jaycees will host a Sleigh Bell Ball at the McArthur Fire Hall. Social hour will begin at 7 p.m. with the dance at 8 p.m. Formal or semi-formal attire is preferred. Admission is $10 per person, $15 per couple or $90 for a reserved table of 10. Must be 21 or older to attend. Tickets required and can be purchased from Jaycee members, at the Vinton County Courier and the Vinton County Visitors’ Center. They also are having a dessert auction that evening.

The hope is to involve as many community members as possible in Christmas in Downtown. The Chamber is now recruiting churches and local musicians to carol that day and is seeking organizations, school groups, 4-H clubs, businesses, churches or anyone that wants to join in the fun to register for the parade.  Non-profit organizations are invited to participate and crafters are beings sought to register for the craft sale.

Want more information on Christmas in Downtown or to find out more about any of these events? Contact Brandi at 596-5033 or at You can also listen to the Christmas in Downtown episode of “Experiencing Vinton County.”

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