Despite a gloomy sky, Boonville's opening day of a week's worth of Home for the Holidays began before the first stores were open on Saturday. Tourists, with red flyers in hand, were seen walking down Main Street and peeking into shop windows.
Santa, who was in front of Boonville City Council Chambers on Spring Street, listened as good little boys and girls made their requests, and were offered apples or oranges by Santa's helpers. The Candy Cane Boutique inside Cooper's Oak Winery was ready for young shoppers by 10 a.m. and all gifts were $10 or less. The Farmers Market had a wide variety of crafts and canned goodies to choose from between noon and 6 p.m.
A block west of Main, the Boonslick Model Railroad Club was set up at the State Fair Community College Kemper Campus. Utilizing the entire second floor, there were big trains, little trains and trains for the young and young at heart. One train ran on an oval track all the way around the room's center guard rails which overlooked the first floor.
“It is sometimes referred to as garden train because of its size and because it's designed to be outside,” explained Garrick Heim.
Heim's N-gauge train took up a rather small table, probably no bigger than 4 by 6 foot but it had plenty of detail—three tracks, trees, tunnels and a village.
“It will be bigger when the club gets moved to our new location next year and I have more time to work on it,” he said.
Other trains in varying sizes and amid various settings were scattered around the room.
On a short table, with not a single “do not touch” sign in sight, one set of trains was being thoroughly enjoyed by a number of children.
Homes on the Historic Homes Tours experienced a great turn out.
The Roslyn Heights Mansion, the Daughters of the Revolution (DAR) House, had approximately 20 trees that had been decorated by chapter members from across Missouri. Members also provided a soup lunch, relish and cookies for an additional $5.
According to Sandra Comer, Missouri DAR State curator, “We had a great day. It was a record day for as long as I've been involved. We were very pleased with the turn out, and not all our guests were DAR members either.”
Music was provided by Michael Butterworth, a concert pianist from Columbia. “He was just wonderful,” Comer said.
At 2 p.m., Kriss Royer, dressed in Victorian style, began welcoming guests into her home at 519 High Street for the Sugar Plum Tea Party. Three Sugar Plum Fairies (Megan Heckman, Bella Heckman, and Grace Volkmann), a Prince (Kyle Royer) and a Nutcracker (Gene Royer) mingled with the young guests as everyone munched on cookies, sandwiches and hot drinks. Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite played in the background. Pictures were taken with the fantasy character of their choice and would be used to make a keepsake Christmas ornament. After the mingling, eating and picture taking, the children gathered around Royer as she read The Nutcracker.
Page 2 of 2 - The Walter Williams Home also enjoyed a steady stream of visitors. “We've probably had at least 40 come through here already,” said Tom Burns as he greeted guests at 711 Morgan Street. Current owner Edward Lang, along with family and friends, were scattered throughout the home sharing information about each room, the names of the trees and answering historical questions about the house as visitors came up during the tour.
Members of the Boonville's Women's Club were stationed in the kitchen selling home-baked cookies by the dozens. A plate of cookies was available for those who only wanted one or two. Cookies could also be purchased from members at Cooper's Oak Winery and Zuzak Wonder Store.
The Boonville Jaycees Christmas Parade began at 5:30 p.m. Although the sun had set and temperatures were dropping, children and adults lined Main Street from downtown to Walnut Street.
Following the parade, “A Night in Bethlehem” was presented at the Nelson Memorial United Methodist Church at 407 East Spring.