Saturday, November 28, 2015

Bedecked and bedazzled

What a great combination of Dazzlefest Christmas windows live and otherwise, lighted parade entries, treats on every hand and an appreciative crowd of many hundreds! And I'm not saying that just because the historical society's window, featuring Coco the wonder dog, Karoline Dittmer and a few artifacts from the collection won second place in the live windows division.

Those primarily responsible for the window --- Kay and Rex, Kathleen and Kylie and Jim --- now get to decide how to spend the $50 Chariton Bucks prize. I'm guessing something new for the museum gardens.

Coco was wildly popular with the kiddos, made a noble effort to terrify a St. Bernard and managed a bark or two, too, when the big horses passed by. The big dog noticed; the horses didn't.

We had commendable  help from twin elves Molly and Max Hammermeister, who under the supervision of their mom distributed peanuts roasted earlier this week in the 130-year-old Piper's Grocery roaster, now in the historical society collection. The twins were part of a larger army of elves on hand to liven up the event, commanded by among others Cindy Sellers, chair of the Chamber/Main Street Dazzlefest effort.

First prize in the windows division went to The Fifth Mile's exquisite display on the west side of the square. It was beautifully designed and executed --- and deserved the honor. Third prize went to Frontier Trading Post --- and I failed to get a photo of that one.

Mostly because I was preoccupied looking at all the interesting items in Will Ghormley's window, which shared the Family Shoe storefront with Frontier. Will, who does business as "Will Ghormley-Maker," aka Old West Cowboy Leather, specializes in holsters and other gun-related leather paraphernalia, but also does carved leather paintings and most recently, motorcycle-related leather for Chariton's Fat Baggers, Inc.

Piper's had another great window on the north side, this year featuring a family candy-making operation.

This was my first trip inside the new northside Cindy Loui's Gifts & Quilt Shop (coffee, too), now looking great in the former Ben Franklin location.

Down on the south side, I found these youngsters in the window at Hammer Medical Supply --- and convinced the angel to sit down for a formal portrait.

Finally, here are more of the elves marching down Grand Street.

You're going to have to take my word about the parade, since my camera isn't up to lighted floats --- unless they're standing still. But I think this is Chariton's best parade. A lot of ingenuity and imagination go into all those lighted entries --- and even the standard big vehicle entries have to be bedecked by holiday lights.

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