• Roger Sims, Journal Staff

Historical society, city compromise on holiday event

Updated: 2 days ago

MOUND CITY – In a special meeting on Monday, Nov. 14, the Mound City Council agreed to a compromise with the Mound City Historical Society on this year’s Christmas event.

Members of the MCHS approached the council at its regular meeting on Nov. 7 to ask that the city consider holding this year’s event at the Mound City Historical Park at Seventh and Main streets.

Following the departure of MCHS officers from that meeting, it was apparent that several members of the council were leaning toward holding the event in the amphitheater just northeast of the Fifth and Main streets intersection.

The city has been holding the tree lighting ceremony at the amphitheater. However, MCHS leaders have been pressing hard to rejuvenate the Village in the Valley event at the historical park, last done more than four years ago.

At its peak, the Village in the Valley had several buildings in the park decorated with lights and the paths between those buildings lit by luminaries, which are lit candles inside paper sacks. The buildings in the park include an old school house, a modern-style bungalow, an old railroad depot, a settler’s cabin, and a few other structures.

At its peak, the Village in the Valley was a considerable draw for people around the county and beyond. But lack of volunteers caused the event to dwindle and eventually be abandoned.

As it stands this week, the Christmas celebration will begin at the historical park at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, and then move a couple blocks east to the amphitheater for the lighting of the Christmas tree at 6 p.m. There are still some details to be ironed out, according to City Clerk Shelby Murray, but those issues are expected to this week.

As the events of the evening now stand, the schoolhouse will be open where, like before, Santa will visit and some refreshments will be distributed. As 6 p.m. draws near, the crowd will walk or ride to the amphitheater. One plan is to have a hay wagon transport people to the amphitheater, however, the city is looking to see if insurance will cover that.

At 6 p.m. the tree lighting ceremony includes a performance by the girls with the Linn County Dance and Cheer organization, more refreshments and a visit from Santa.

Ron Nickelson, president of the historical society said on Tuesday that he was pleased with the compromise. He said the goal of MCHS is to still bring back Village in Valley, but he felt like this year’s event is a step in the right direction.

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