For the last seven years, the Vinton County Chamber of Commerce has organized an event called Christmas in Downtown. Always held the first Saturday in December, our event is meant to bring people into downtown McArthur for an afternoon of fun.

We have Christmas carolers, drawings and giveaways, discounts, free refreshments and all sorts of fun things for folks to do. There are free wagon rides around town, the WesBanco Express, a craft sale, a chinese auction, a parade, Christmas decorations to enjoy and plenty of holiday cheer.

The event lasts from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. with the parade capping off the downtown festivities at 6 p.m. But the fun doesn’t end there. For one thing, Santa is escorted to town during the parade by members of the McArthur Fire Department. He visits with all the children at the County Courthouse following the parade.

Most of these activities are free or extremely inexpensive. The Chamber considers this event a Christmas gift to the community, hoping that people will feel welcome to bring their families for an inexpensive night of fun. This is especially important during a season that is traditionally so expensive to families.

A little later in the evening, the Friends’ Community Players will perform everyone’s favorite holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The cast of local talent always puts on a good show and the Chamber is extremely excited they will bring this story to life. The play will be held at the Vinton County Middle School and will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. If you can’t make an evening performance, there will be a matinee performance at 2 p.m. Sunday. General admission is just $5.

A lot of people are working hard to bring music, good food, crafts, entertainment and all sorts of holiday fun to Christmas in Downtown. Won’t you join us? It’s always a fun evening. Most activities are free and we hope to inspire Christmas spirit in even the grouchiest Grinch.