In 2019, the city of Moberly decided to pack all of its holiday events into one big day to celebrate the season. The Moberly Area Chamber of Commerce tied a number of smaller events together to bring more people out during the holidays.

This year, the Moberly Christmas Festival takes place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 4 in the Moberly Depot District.

“This will be the third year we have hosted the Christmas festival in this manner,” said Megan Schmitt, executive director of the Moberly Area Chamber of Commerce.

“By combining a couple of Christmas events that had been held separately, independently of each other, and placing them on one day, it’s easier from a marketing and attendance perspective to get people to come out when there’s more going on.”

Visitors can expect to see pop-up retailers invited by the Chamber of Commerce, along with the local businesses in the Depot District, decorating their storefronts for the festival.

“We invite selected vendors to come and set up for the day so that we can offer additional retail shopping experiences, holiday treats, snacks, crafts and different things like that,” Schmitt said. “The Altrusa organization here in Moberly each year hosts a cookie fest, and so that will also be going on the same day.”

The event will also feature a parade and horse-drawn carriage rides that will operate for an hour beyond the end of the festival.

At 5:30 p.m., Mayor Jerry Jeffrey will light the city’s Christmas tree.

“And then, Timber Lake Christian Church is just a couple miles from our downtown area, and they have an amazing, giant interactive Christmas tree,” Schmitt said. “They will also be hosting ‘Drive Through Bethlehem’ on the same Saturday.”

The church’s Christmas tree is programmed to coordinate with the music on speakers.

COVID-19 restricted the event last year, Schmitt said, so this year the event has been planned to be more festive.

Last year, for example, Moberly held a “reverse parade.”

“Which basically means it was parked,” Schmitt said.

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