The windows of downtown Columbia will come alive from 6 to 8 tonight as part of a Christmas tradition.
Sixteen stores will be participating in the Living Windows Festival with themes such as Santa’s Helpers, A Christmas Carol, Nuclear Christmas and Hawaiian Holiday.
Arnie Fagan, manager of Cool Stuff at 808 E. Broadway, has enjoyed creating displays for the festival since it began.
“We’re having a Mardi Gras Christmas,” Fagan said. “We always try to participate and do things as a community. You’ve got all the people outside, and it’s a great time together seeing all the creative things that we’re doing.”
My Secret Garden, 16 N. Ninth St., will have a fairy theme to draw attention to collectable figurines and other giftware the flower shop sells. Stephanie LaHue, merchandising manager for My Secret Garden, said women dressed in fairy costumes will welcome guests and hand out cider.
Santa Claus will be in the First National Bank lobby, and the First Christian Church will be doing a live nativity scene.
Carrie Gartner, executive director of the Downtown Columbia Associations, said the festival gives store owners an opportunity to display what they have on sale for the Christmas shopping season. For the remainder of the holiday season, downtown stores will be open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the week, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays.