Christmas is making its first appearance in Springfield

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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Downtown Springfield!

Today, a Christmas tree was placed in the middle of the downtown square in preparation for the Downtown tree lighting.
John Sellars grew up in Springfield and is the Executive director of the History Museum.
He know 1st had how things have changed around the square over the years. He told us, "This is where all the retail was. This is where you came to shop, The sidewalks would be full of people, the stores would be packed. It was kind of an exciting and invigorating place to be back then." He added, "It's different now, but it's still, in many ways, very exciting. "

One big change this year will be one big ceremony downtown instead,
instead of a second ceremony, which had been held for years at Jordan Valley Park

We asked Cora Scott, director of public information & civic engagements with the city of Springfield why there will only be one big tree lighting this year. She told us, "We've decided to partner with the park board, and downtown Springfield association, the downtown community improvement district to do one major show and tree lighting ceremony, and then have people ride over to Jordan Valley park and do the lights there. So it's kinda double the fun in one event."

Just because these groups combining to one lighting ceremony, doesn't mean that the event is shrinking. The size of the crowd varies greatly year to year based on the weather, but the city is estimating around 2,000 will be in attendance.

Instead of creating competition between different holiday events, Cora said, "We're slowly trying to expand the lights that are available throughout our community."
John shared a similar idea about community and said, "We're all in this together, and not marking our territory and trying to downplay theirs is how we're going to be successful."

And this success is being measured by spreading holiday cheer to everyone in the Ozarks. Cora wanted to add, "we're trying to connect all of the community into the holiday spirit, no matter what your faith's tradition is, we have a way for you to participate in this great season."