Ten – Nine – Eight – as the countdown continued at the 2016 Chamber of Commerce Christmas Lighting Celebration and El Dorado Springs became illuminated for the holiday season! The evening saw several hundred friends and neighbors gather in the Park for the festivities last Monday. Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jackson Tough welcomed the crowd then handed the mic over to Mayor Brad True who initiated the countdown to illumination. Chamber President Toshua McCormick flipped the giant lighting switch in honor of the organization being named the 2016 Missouri Small Market Chamber of Commerce of the Year.

Sandra Stewart directed a choir from the El Dorado Springs public school. As they performed “Here Comes Santa Claus,” the jolly old elf made his first appearance of the season in El Dorado Springs. Band director Jordan White added to the evening with an ensemble playing holiday music as children visited with Santa. Ron Alumbaugh once again did a masterful job operating sound and lights for the event.

SCRG, Sheriff-Elect James McCrary and State Representative Warren Love, with a little supervision from Police Chief Jarrod Schiereck, cooked hot dogs for the masses and the F.U.N. Club provided drinks and other snacks for the event.

The Chamber of Commerce added a couple of new elements for this year’s event. Emerald Green Arborvitae “Christmas Trees” were planted a couple of weeks ago and will grow up to 15’. Toshua McCormick’s State Farm Insurance sponsored the trees and Chalet Nursery donated delivery.   The other new element was the “Christmas in the Park” sign at the center entrance to Spring Park. The sign was commissioned by the El Dorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and constructed by FFA instructor Jay Martin and FFA students.  The sign was sponsored by Sac Osage Electric Co-op, State Farm Insurance, Santa Paula Awning, Woods Supermarket, Shelter Insurance, Vapaholics, Nine Wonders Optimist Club, Evans Drug, Sheldon Funeral Home, A-1 Body Shop and the Opera House Theater.

2016 Christmas Lighting & Parade Committee is composed of Dr. Neil Linsenmayer, Janna Dody, Toshua McCormick, Jami Carpenter, Kensey Esry and Peggy Snodgrass.

Chamber Gold Sponsors of the Lighting Celebration and Christmas Parade include Evans Drugs, Shelter Insurance, Fugate Motors, State Farm Insurance, Dairi Concepts and Woods Supermarket. Silver Sponsors include Shannon & Associates Real Estate & Auctioneers, Mike & Joe’s Service Station, Cedar County Memorial Hospital, Paul Miller Construction, Wilkinson Pharmacy, Mid Missouri Bank, Physician’s Medical, Brower Real Estate, Heritage State Bank, Santa Paula Awning, Community Bank, Sonic Drive In, Mercy Clinic and LCN Graphics. The Chamber extends a special thank you to Ron and Janet Swopes for hosting Santa Claus while in El Dorado Springs!

Chamber President Toshua McCormick said “The City employees really worked with us on Park decoration. Main Street and U.S. Hwy. 54 look great.” Several attendees said the new decorations really added to the park’s festive appearance for the season.

The next holiday events will be “A Hollywood Christmas” Parade on Saturday, Dec. 3 through downtown El Dorado Springs. The parade will commence at 1 p.m. Santa will be in Spring Park to visit with children after the parade.

2016 Holiday Home Christmas Decoration Contest is upcoming.  To enter the contest you can contact the chamber (876-4154) by noon on Dec. 7. Judging of lights and home exterior decorations will be on Thursday, Dec. 8, and Friday, Dec. 9.  $300 in city utility credit prizes will be awarded.