CARTHAGE, Mo. — Several events are getting canceled or changed around completely thanks to the pandemic. It’s causing people in the Four States to get creative in keeping the holiday spirit alive.
Around this time of year, people would be gathering for large events like the tree lighting. But, of course, this year it can’t happen like normal.
One local non-profit isn’t letting the pandemic stop them and they’ve partnered with local artists just in time for the holidays.
“We were thinking about was that we’re unifying the community, by pulling things together because this is a time where everything is being pulled apart in different directions and I think that’s nice to do something nice for the city,” said local artist Tom Jones.
Thanks to the pandemic, age-old traditions are going to look differently this year. The cancellation of normal holiday events are making people get creative. Groups like Vision Carthage are making sure the holiday spirit is still alive and well in the city.
“We’re awarded with some funds to pay some artists, local artists, to be able to come and paint some winter wonderland kind of scenes on all of the store fronts of the square,” said Abi Almandinger, Executive Director, Vision Carthage
But there’s also a deeper meaning than what meets the eye. Through these murals, Vision Carthage is trying to bring attention to small businesses in the square.
“There’s a lot of new boutiques on the square as well that maybe people, even our own citizens may not be aware of, so we were just trying to promote a little bit of engagement that way, a little bit of awareness, and having people come on down and shopping for the holiday season,” said Almandinger.
Store owners are already feeling the love. In a time when many are struggling, small acts of kindness like this go a long way.
“Whenever I came up and saw it for the first time, I was in love with it, it just was very exciting, I love all of the artwork, it’s very nice, they did such a good job on it,” said Elizabeth Esch, owner of Sincerely Yours.
The murals are capturing the attention and Christmas spirit for the city of Carthage.
“I’ve heard some people talking about this, ‘Well you need to drive up and go around Carthage and look at the square,’ and so that’s what we want, we want people to one to enjoy it and two to bring some people around who didn’t know these businesses were here and maybe get some joy out of it,” said local artist Tom Jones.
Vision Carthage is also decorating the entire town square with trees, gifts and even a light tunnel.
Artists are putting on the finishing touches on these murals, which should be finished this Saturday.