By: Tara Blue
The past weekend brought Southern Boone residents out to kick off the holiday season. From the Mid-Missouri Arts Alliance winter gift gallery on Thursday, to the City of Ashland Christmas parade and tree lighting on Friday, a special visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus at the American Legion Post 152 on Saturday, and finally the Village of Hartsburg tree lighting celebration on Sunday, our community is ringing in the Christmas spirit with cheer.

Evan & Jaxon Batye were all smiles with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the American Legion Post 152
“Pizza with Santa” event Saturday, Dec. 2nd

Village of Hartsburg Tree Lighting Celebration

Robert Brune and Marcia Lammers enjoyed the company as they sang along to the crowd’s
improvised rendition of Elvis’ Blue Christmas

Hartsburg celebrated their 35th tree lighting celebration with a delicious pot-luck, Christmas music caroling, and the ceremonial lighting of the village tree. According to Hartsburg resident Connie Barner, the ceremony began in 1989 by her, Nancy Grant, and Mike Rodemeyer.

Connie says she was running the grocery store at the time and was sitting around joking that Hartsburg ought to have a tree lighting as they do in other places. The idea took off, and she spread the word for residents to bring an ornament engraved with their name and date.

This Hartsburg memorial tree holds ornaments with the names of those who have passed away or no longer live in Hartsburg

This Hartsburg tree holds ornaments with the names of current residents

Connie says she never throws the ornaments away, as they are a tribute to the memory of past and present village residents. If you’re a current Hartsburg resident and have not yet hung your ornament, feel free to contact the Hartsburg American Legion Post 424.

Mid-Missouri Art Alliance Winter Gift Gallery

Artist Cricket Hackman

On Thursday, Nov. 30, the Mid-Missouri Arts Alliance showcased their 7th annual “Winter Gift Gallery.” Visitors enjoyed refreshments as they viewed seasonal handcrafted pottery, woodwork, jewelry, paintings, and photography. Local artists prepared for the event by creating pieces that are perfectly sized and priced for holiday gift-giving.

Beautifully handcrafted holiday selections now for sale

Attendee Larry Hall expressed his gratitude for the Arts Alliance. “We are lucky to have this gallery in town. People don’t realize how important art is to our communities. Everyone has a creative talent to share, whether it’s written word, spoken word, or visual art. The Art Alliance gives us a place to discover and nurture our gifts.”

The Winter Gift Gallery will be open until Dec. 31st on Thursdays and Fridays 10am-6pm, and Saturdays from 10am-2pm. The Arts Alliance also hosts monthly classes and workshops for all ages. See their Facebook page or visit for more details.