Christmas spirit erupts tonight with downtown holiday festival

It seems like only yesterday that an upstart group of visionary downtown business leaders introduced the community to the concept of new holiday festival, one that would remind Terre Haute residents of the "old days" when the city's central commercial district was cheerfully filled with people and traffic as everyone prepared for Christmas.

Miracle of 7th Street was born. And the community responded.

Ten years later, the festival has exceeded the expectations of its founders. If they dreamed their idea would blossom into such a major happening, they dared not say it. But it has, and they have reason to smile and celebrate. The miracles just keep coming.

The 10th annual Miracle on 7th Street kicks off tonight in downtown Terre Haute for its two-day run. It will climax Saturday night with another spectacular Light Your Way Christmas Parade down Wabash Venue. Again, the city will be alive with pulsating with holiday spirit.

Miracle on 7th Street has grown into the biggest local events of the year. It draws thousands of people into the downtown district, many of which will be families with children.

Over the years, new and colorful features have been added. It started as a Friday night festival and eventually expanded into a second day. Two years ago, a parade was added. The parade, which steps off at 6 p.m. Saturday, is the epitome of the Christmas spirit.

Miracle’s hours downtown are 5-10 p.m. on Friday, and Noon-9 p.m. on Saturday. Once again, vendors will be selling their wares and there will be a host of other seasonal activities that will appeal to all ages.

This year's featured activity is SnowMazing — a 50-by-40 foot winter maze.

To find out more details about the event this year, grab a copy of the ‘BASH entertainment section from Thursday's Tribune-Star.

What you should also know is that Miracle on 7th Street uses the proceeds from its event to fund a range of charitable community activities. In the past that has included a donation to the Tribune-Star’s annual Christmas Basket Fund, which delivers food baskets to needy families on Christmas Eve.

We congratulate and applaud the dedicated organizers for their vision, energy and inspiration. They continue to bring tremendous joy to this community in many ways.

The fun begins tonight. We urge you to be part of it.