Now that the Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone, Christmas activities in Barry County begin in full force. On Saturday, the Cassville and Shell Knob chambers of commerce and the City of Exeter host three separate holiday events, which for many mark the beginning of the yuletide season.
On Saturday night, the Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce will sponsor its annual night-time Christmas Parade, which will feature 122 entries.
Parade participants will line up at 5 p.m. at the Able 2 parking lot on Highway 248. The procession will leave Able 2 at 6:30 p.m. and travel toward Main Street where it will head north and end at the Cassville R-IV campus.
The parade line-up is as follows: Barry County Sheriff; American Legion; Cassville Mayor; City of Cassville; Cassville Fire Protection District; South Barry County Cox EMS; Cassville High School marching band; Classy Red Hatters; Hillbilly Christmas presented by members of the Ridgley crew; Barry County Corvettes; Security Bank of Southwest Missouri.
Bible Baptist Church; Gretchen Hartman and her dog; the Eagle Rock-Golden-Mano Fire Protection District; Shelly's Showstoppers; CHS Mr. and Miss Merry Christmas; Brownie and Junior Troops #333 and #335; Ridgley Southern Baptist Church; Cassville Little League baseball; Southwest High School marching band; Haney Construction; Ralph Hilburn 1950 Chevy truck; Girl Scout Brownie Troop #309.
Emmanuel Baptist Church; PET of Aurora; Butterfield Fire Department; Denny Wolfe; Cassville FFA; Wheaton High School Mr. and Miss Merry Christmas; Harris family 1938 John Deere B Tractor; Newman's Small Engine/B & P Grocery; Corinth Baptist Church; RWTB Family Martial Arts Center; Kenneth Wilson; Cub Scouts Pack #76; Barry County Care Center; Church of the Nazarene in Aurora; PT Cruisers of Barry County.
Cassville Junior Football League; Neil O'Donnell 1947 International truck; Girl Scout Troop #329; Corsi Fire Department; Seligman Youth Program; Spiritual Springs; Wheaton High School marching band; Purdy Cadette Girl Scout Troop #83; Wheaton Street Machines; Exeter Fire Department; Hillsden Mosely John Deere Gator; Girl Scout Troop #176; Fasco Little Mr. and Miss; Ralph Hilburn 1949 Chevy truck.
Ridgley Assembly of God; Bill Knapp 1969 Volkswagen dune buggy; Girl Scout Troop 3341; Reatha and Connie Lloyd; Monett Miss Merry Christmas; Northwest Arkansas Corvette Club; Daisy Girl Scouts; Eagle Rock Real Estate; Victory Baptist Church in Exeter; Cody Stephens; Stacy Wineberry 2000 Extasy Renegade; Rocky Comfort Redevelopment Committee; Missouri National Guard; St. Edwards Catholic Church.
Girl Scout Troop #364; Shockwave Mobile DJ; First Southern Baptist Church of Golden; John Sass; Masonic Lodge #533 of Wheaton; CenturyTel; Church of God Holiness; Travis Ash tractor; Exeter Miss Merry Christmas; St. Thomas A' Beckett; DARE Clydesdale; Back with Nature; Danielle Basey pony and cart; Scott Stringer; Jack Lowe; Mane to Tail Horse and Pony Club; Jim Post; David Bowman; Barry County Mounted Search and Rescue; and Eugene Hall horse and buggy.
Following the parade, Cassville's Nativity Scene on Cemetery Hill will be lighted. This season, the familiar scene has been newly refurbished and repainted by area artists.
For more information on the Cassville Christmas Parade, call the chamber office at 847-2814.
Shell Knob will host a Christmas Lighting ceremony on Saturday starting at 5:30 p.m. at Bridgeway Plaza on Highway 39. Lights on buildings and trees and the stars around the Plaza will all be illuminated at 6 p.m. sharp, as will a large 15-foot star on top of the 80-foot water tower at the Shell Knob Senior Center complex.
To celebrate this event, hot drinks and cookies will be served at the Plaza, and live Christmas music arranged by the Shell Knob Alliance of Churches will be performed.
The ceremony is sponsored by the Plaza Association and the Shell Knob Senior Center and is open to all area residents.
Christmas homes tour
The Shell Knob Chamber of Commerce will present the 2005 Christmas Tour of Homes on Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Featured Table Rock Lake area homes are owned by: Dale and Jonni Millington and Lieu and Helen Smith, of Fox Woods; J.R. Gifford, Lakewood Manor; Sue and Russell Hooge and Jack and Sally Pennard, Central Crossing Acres; Boots Bosley, Ozark Villas; and Dean and Heidi Miller and Ron and Pat Kennedy, Reflection Ridge.
Dean and Heidi Miller needed a home big enough for their blended family and when they walked into this house they knew this was their home. It is located in Reflection Ridge, and they have taken all white walls and slowly added bright colors and found all the right places to tell their story of who they are and what their home means to them.
Boots Bosley's apartment is in the Ozark Villas Senior Housing Community. Boots came to the Ozarks Villas in May of 2003. Her apartment reflects her many travels. She has Clisine vases from China and kimonos from Japan among her treasures.
Jack and Sally Pennard recently completed their unique vacation home in Central Crossing Acres. The outside of the home has a rustic look with wooden beams and korbels. Jack used his skills as a builder to incorporate attractive features throughout the home, including tin facing on the kitchen backsplash and ceiling.
Sue and Russell Hooge's home in Central Crossing was built by Danny Street Construction. Russ is a Green Bay Packers fan and created a Hall of Fame "Packer Bar" in the family room. The Hooges' home features a floor-to-ceiling fireplace and a 10-foot wide mirror.
The home of Dale and Jonni Millington features an eclectic interior and almost every room in the home includes a portion of the couple's extensive Santa Claus collection. Chiefs' fans will love the Millington's sports bar and family room.
The home of Lieu and Helen Smith incorporates a passive solar design with expansive south-facing windows and interior stone and quarried tile to retain heat. The home also features a display of Helen's Ironstone Tea Leaf china and Lieu's collection of wood planes.
Tour tickets are $10 each and are available at Vanderhoof Gardens, Sawtooth Mill Gift Gallery, Neill's Home Store, Bittersweet Floral, Arvest Bank, To You, St. John's Clinic, Lakeview Acres Grocery & RV Park, Linda's Tangled Vine Florist & Tearoom and the chamber office in Shell Knob, First National Bank in Berryville, Ark., and Freedom Bank and Commerce Bank in Cassville.
Each ticket includes a colored brochure with photos of each home, a brief introduction to the owners and a map with directions to the homes. During the day of the tour, Tri-Lakes Realtors, Inc., on Highway 39 will have an open house with snacks and drinks for tour participants.
For more information, call 417-858-3300 or visit http://www.shellknob.com.
Exeter's annual Christmas Parade will feature 110 entries, according to Flo Ennis, parade organizer. Parade participants will proceed along Exeter's Main Street beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Prizes will be awarded in several different categories that include: bands, musical and non-musical; vehicles, best decorated, oldest and most unusual; tractors, antique and classic; horses, best presentation and best of show; floats, schools, religious and non-religious; the City's Choice trophy for best all-around entry; and the Lions Club travelling trophy for best Lions Club float.
Prior to the parade, the Exeter Lions Club will host a ham or turkey dinner at 11 a.m. in the Lions Club building. All area residents are invited to attend.
The Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring its annual lighting contest. Anonymous judges will be looking at displays during the week of Dec. 5-9.
Those who want their homes judged must have their lights turned on nightly during that week from dark to 10 p.m. Winners will be notified and presented plaques at the chamber meeting on Dec. 20.