TERRE HAUTE —
Snow showers are expected to blanket downtown Terre Haute on Friday – just in time for the holiday wonder of Miracle on 7th Street.
“If it snows, that just adds to the atmosphere,” said Miracle board member Libby Waters.
Miracle on 7th Street features about 70 vendors in heated tents, as well as downtown businesses, organizations, artists and crafters presenting holiday shopping, gifts and festive events such as the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus, the lighting of the downtown Christmas tree, and a food drive to assist needy local residents.
A convenient pull-out map highlighting Miracle on 7th Street event locations is included in today’s Tribune-Star.
Between the hours of 6 a.m. and midnight on Friday, Wabash Avenue will be blocked off between Seventh and Eighth streets, and Seventh Street will be blocked between Wabash and Ohio Street to accommodate the open air market.
The event is open to the public from 5 to 10 p.m.
At 6:15 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive at the intersection of Seventh and Wabash. They will then lead a gathering of children westward to light the Christmas tree at Crossroads Plaza. Photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus will follow at Mic’s Pics on Wabash Avenue.
The Tree Decorating Contest, sponsored by Terre Haute Savings Bank, features Christmas trees decorated by nonprofit organizations. The trees will surround the vendor tents at Seventh and Wabash. Each organization that has participated in the contest will receive $100.
The winning organization will receive $500. The trees were donated by the Breakfast Optimist Club.
A separate evergreen contest occurring at the same time is the Tree Fest at the Indiana Theater at Seventh and Ohio.
Forty Christmas trees have been decorated by sponsors who have picked themes for their evergreens. The public will be able to vote for their favorite tree by purchasing admission tickets for $5, as well as extra voting tickets for $1 each.
Tree Fest is a project of the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, and executive director Tiffani Schmit said the great part of the project is that each tree will be donated to a needy family or couple identified by social service organizations.
Tree Fest is open from 4 to 10 p.m. Friday during Miracle on 7th Street, as well as from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Live musical entertainment will be provided on Friday by a variety of groups.
While Tree Fest is located in the auditorium of the theater, the lobby of the restored venue will featured the decorated gingerbread houses entered by individuals, families, businesses, organizations and groups as part of the Miracle on 7th event. The contest is sponsored by Century 21 Advantage, and awards will be given for first, second and third place, along with an additional “people’s choice” award.
Several downtown windows have also been decorated in yet another Miracle on 7th Street contest. The windows are being judged Thursday, and the winner will be announced Friday, with prizes being awarded to the top three windows.
Miracle board member Waters said that a large emphasis has been placed on this year’s food drive. Some food suppliers for downtown restaurants have already made donations to the food drive, she said, and a Coca-Cola semi trailer will be parked downtown with the hopes of filling that trailer with donated canned goods.
“We’ve done the food drive in the past,” Waters said, “but we’re really pushing it this year with collection barrels set up at area businesses.”
Visitors to Miracle on 7th Street are encouraged to bring in non-perishable food items and financial donations in exchange for entry tickets to a prize drawing. Charities benefiting from the food drive are 14th and Chestnut Community Center’s Grumbling Tummies program, the St. Benedict’s Soup Kitchen, and Terre Haute Catholic Charities. Monetary contributions will assist the Salvation Army’s Christmas Food Basket program and the Tribune-Star’s Christmas Basket Fund.
With the cold temperatures predicted for the afternoon and evening – the high is forecast at 29 degrees with a low near 14 degrees and a 50 percent chance of snow – everyone attending is advised to bundle up for warmth, and to drive carefully due to high pedestrian traffic in the downtown area.
Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.