Dianne Frances D. Powell
TERRE HAUTE —
It was cold and snowy in downtown Terre Haute Friday, but the holiday spirit was very much alive at the annual event, Miracle on 7th Street.
The snow-covered buildings seemed to perfectly match the holiday decor, lights and brightly lit Christmas trees along Seventh Street as people, some in festive Christmas outfits and hats, walked through downtown shops and heated tends for some shopping and holiday events.
“Hey, it’s Christmas. It’s winter. We love it,” said Miracle organizer and co-founder Boo Lloyd.
“Look at the people out there,” Lloyd said of the event turnout as she served customers from inside her business, Boo’s Crossroads Café.
Inside the Indiana Theatre, where 22 colorful and creative entries were on display for one of the festive events, the Gingerbread House Contest, organizer Lisa Johnson was thrilled about the turnout.
“It’s packed! We’ve had at least 1,000 people who have come through here,” she said.
Organizers estimated thousands of people attended the annual holiday event, now in its fifth year, which featured about 70 vendors offering gifts and crafts inside heated outdoor tents and other holiday events and contests.
Among the attendees this year were Bayley Young and her two young nieces who waved enthusiastically to Santa as the firetruck carrying him drove by the intersection of Wabash Avenue and Seventh Street.
Kaydence, 6, and Josey, 3, were really excited to see Santa, Young said.
“They really like the idea that Santa was on a firetruck,” she said, so when they heard about it, “they were set on coming.”
All despite the cold.
“We love the snow,” Young said.
In addition to Santa, the first-time Miracle attendees also saw The Grinch and visited the vendors and downtown shops.
Another Terre Haute woman brought some young ones along for the event.
Jennifer Bell enjoyed the Miracle event with her two daughters, ages 7 and 7 months old, her husband and her mother-in-law.
“We come every year to see Santa on the firetruck, light the tree and look at all the crafts,” Bell said.
The family has been coming to the Miracle event for four years.
But the family also came to support the charities benefiting from the event.
Miracle on 7th Street started five years ago as a Christmas event and has now evolved into a holiday charity event.
Johnson said Miracle on 7th Street aims to “bring an old world Christmas feel to downtown Terre Haute.” It also aims to raise awareness and raise food/funds for charities.
The charities benefiting from Miracle on 7th Street are 14th and Chestnut’s Grumbling Tummies program, Catholic Charities, Salvation Army’s Christmas Food Basket program, St. Benedict’s Soup Kitchen and the Tribune-Star’s Christmas Basket Fund.
Lloyd said “people like the nostalgia of Christmas” and understand the charitable aspect of the Miracle event. “And they support that.”
And the snow this year was also an added bonus.
“It just makes it more Christmas-like,” Bell said. “It was good that it snowed.”
Attending the Miracle event has become a family “tradition at Christmas time,” Bell said. “It’s just great to see the city come together to celebrate the holiday.”
Tribune-Star Reporter Dianne Frances D. Powell can be reached at 812-231-4299.