NOEL, Mo. — Noel city officials are using the start of the holiday season — to make a new name for themselves.

“We don’t want people to forget who we are,” said Randy Wilson, Noel Marshal.

Following the sudden closure of the former “Tyson Chicken Processing Plant” in Noel — equating to more than one-thousand workers losing their jobs — locals have been wondering what identity the area will be taking on next.

According to city officials — Tuesday’s “Halloween Parade” at the “Noel Elementary School” might be an indicator of what’s to come.

“Not only is it the beautiful scenery, we’ve got the bluffs, we’ve got the rivers, tourism, but we are Noel, and the Christmas City. So a lot of people actually call it Noel (no-el) and that’s how they remember it. Everyone from around knows us as a Christmas City and we are trying to bring that back,” said Wilson.

“It’s an opportunity to re-focus on tourism and actually if things are done right, probably draw from a wider group of tourists than we ever have before,” said Terry Lance, Mayor of Noel.

Involving local businesses and the town’s elementary and primary school students, this event allowed the whole community to come together — for the first time since the plant’s closure — and celebrate the holiday.

“They all come out to support not only the town, but they come out to support our kids, and with everything going on, the kids really need our support, and that’s what we are doing out here, supporting them,” said Wilson.

“Actually I would like to see more reasons to do this, more events that engage the entire school system like that, at least here in town,” said Lance.

Noel officials say we can expect more information on what’s next for the “Noel Christmas City” — in the coming weeks.