The Vinton County High School Band, under the direction of Casey Knox, performs during Saturday’s Christmas in Downtown Parade. (Telegram Photo by Red Thompson, Jr.)
The Vinton County High School Band, under the direction of Casey Knox, performs during Saturday’s Christmas in Downtown Parade. (Telegram Photo by Red Thompson, Jr.)

What has become a local holiday tradition resumed in McArthur Saturday afternoon, Dec. 4. The annual Christmas in Downtown event returned after being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event’s theme was “Whoville” from the iconic Grinch movies and many of the village businesses were decorated as such. 

Temperatures were above average, and the streets and businesses were full of people, including many youngsters. Many merchants offered cookies, candies, and soft and hot drinks to everyone. Many vendors, organizations and businesses not located in the downtown area were also represented, including Campbell's Market, as General Manager Joe Goodman was on hand with treats and drinks. Additionally, R&C Quickstop and McDonald’s sponsored Total Media's remote broadcast on 96.7 WKOV-FM. The host of the broadcast was The Radio's morning personality Matt McKee who was there from 2:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.

Later in the evening, a grand parade was held on the downtown streets, with the Vinton County High School Band, under the direction of Casey Knox, headlining the music. The parade also included queens, antique vehicles, 4-H representatives, and the Santa Claus float. Then, Santa went inside the Vinton County Courthouse and visited with the children and heard their Christmas wishes.

The Christmas in Downtown event acts as de facto “Black Friday” for the restaurants and convenience stores.