"Christmas in July was definitely the best Friday Squared event that we have had," said Mindi Artherton, chamber executive director. "We had over 400 people walking around the square taking advantage of extended shopping hours and browsing our vendor booths."
Community members enjoyed shopping, food concessions and a variety of activities during the pre-show block party that was held from 7 to 9 p.m. Those who turned out also enjoyed live music provided by local group Barry County Connection.
"Barry County Connection did an outstanding job, as always, and made the event festive for all who were in attendance," said Artherton.
Little Tommy's Hotdogs served hotdogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, Polish dogs and brats throughout the block party and during the movie.
Friday Squared attendees also purchased pizza by the slice from the Cassville High School cheerleading squad and enjoyed free lemonade and popcorn courtesy of Commerce Bank.
Event attendees enjoyed posing for the cover of Connection magazine, answering trivia questions at the Cassville Education Fund booth and looking at a pair of new vehicles on display from Les Jacobs Ford-Mercy.
Youngsters decorated cookies with Mrs. Claus, received candy canes from Santa and took part in activities offered by the Cassville YMCA and Whitley Pharmacy.
Community members who attended Friday Squared were encouraged to shop the square during the block party. The BBQ Station, Forever Yours Embroidery, Gussied Up Boutique, Presto Espresso, Sater Pharmacy, Smith's Clothing, Neill's Home Store, Tomblin's Jewelry and Gifts, Towneley Furnishings, Whitley Pharmacy and State Farm Insurance offered a variety of special promotions during the event.
Lilly Bug Designs, Babycakes and Custom Cases and Sew Loved Design also took part in the event by setting up booths on the square. The vendors offered children's clothing and gift items.
Whitley Pharmacy hosted a cookies and milk eating contest that attracted several competitors. Gary Youngblood, Barry County clerk, won first place in the Christmas-themed competition.
Many Friday Squared attendees picked up punch cards and visited participating businesses in order to be entered in the Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce's door prize drawing.
Door prize gifts, which were awarded every 15 minutes during the block party, included gift certificates to Geraldi's and the BBQ Station, a one-year subscription to the Cassville Democrat newspaper, merchandise from Forever Yours Embroidery, movie passes and a $50 gift certificate to Tomblin's.
"Elf," starring Will Ferrell, was shown on the outdoor movie screen at dark. Dozens of families stayed for the show.
"The movie, "Elf," was a crowd pleaser," said Artherton. "We are already looking forward to doing this event next year."
For more information on next year's Friday Squared event, call Artherton at 847-2814 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Our committee members, Michael LeCompte, Richard Asbill, Lindsay Reed, Michelle Bredeson and Bill Shiveley deserve all the credit for making this event a huge success," said Artherton. "Without their guidance and volunteer time, our community would not have the opportunity to enjoy such a great event."