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Christmas on the Square to be held Thursday evening in Waynesville
WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (Dec. 1, 2009) — Most downtown Waynesville businesses aren’t open after hours, but this Thursday night, most storefronts around the courthouse square will be sparking with lights as they welcome evening customers to kick off the Christmas season.

Scheduled to run from 6 p.m. until at least 8 p.m., and possibly later depending on crowds, the event is a small-town American tradition that dates back to the days when downtown business districts were the center of community shopping.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for the community to come together,” said Mayor Cliff Hammock. “It gives them the opportunity to gather, renew old acquaintances, and make new friends. We want to welcome not only ‘Waynesvilleians’ but ‘Pulaski Countians’ — it’s a great event and there’s a lot to do.”

In addition to stores open for shopping, many businesses such as law firms that don’t provide a retail service choose to open their doors to provide hot cider or coffee, or other snacks. Food is also on sale in the streets from various local community organizations.

“We should have all the eateries and the rides that people are accustomed to, and we’ll even have a bonfire for people to warm up,” Hammock said.

Hammock has lived most of his life in Waynesville and remembers the traditional Christmas on the Square in earlier years.

“It was basically an opportunity to kick off for the local businesses and provide an opportunity for families to come together,” Hammock said. “A lot of folks in years past would not go to Springfield or St. Louis; they would do all their shopping here locally … it’s just getting back to the basics of what I remember as a young boy, and I hope some of the young folks will appreciate it, too.”

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