Oskaloosa Welcomes Back The Holiday Season

 
The Oskaloosa Municipal Band played as the crowd gathered for the official lighting ceremony on Saturday evening.

The Oskaloosa Municipal Band played as the crowd gathered for the official lighting ceremony on Saturday evening.

by Ken Allsup
November 21st, 2021

Oskaloosa, Iowa – “Sweetest little Hallmark movie town” is how Mississippi resident Betsy Boney described Oskaloosa as the lights for the holiday season were officially turned on.

A large light switch was set up just north of the bandstand, and local dignitaries gathered there to honor the people that give so much to make ‘Painting With Lights” possible every year.

Jane Nicholson and her husband John were honored earlier this year as the 2021 Good Neighbor Pharmacy of the Year. In addition, they were once again surprised by the Oskaloosa Main Street for their dedication to the annual lighting event.

Musco owner Joe Crookham presented a $25,000 donation in Nicholson’s honor to support the “Painting with Lights” event into the future.

And as the 6 o’clock hour neared, the anticipation grew, and after a tune from members of the Oskaloosa Municipal Band, the Nicholson’s flipped the switch. The lights on the buildings started to come to life, officially kicking off the 2021 holiday season in Oskaloosa.

From left to right; John and Jane Nicholson, Joe Crookham, Dave Krutzfeldt as a donation was made by Musco for 'Painting with Lights' in Nicholson's name.

From left to right; John and Jane Nicholson, Joe Crookham, Dave Krutzfeldt as a donation was made by Musco for ‘Painting with Lights’ in Nicholson’s name.

“We are so grateful for John, Jane, and Mahaska Drug for all they do to serve our community,” said Main Street Board Chairperson Janet Kuskie. “We didn’t have the opportunity to have a community celebration when they received the award in July, so we wanted to take the opportunity to surprise her with a community celebration at the opening ceremony of Painting with Lights.”

“Jane and Mahaska Drug can always be counted on to think creatively when it comes to supporting the community in every way,” said Main Street Director Jessica Reuter. “Leaders like Jane, who give generously of their time and talents, are vital to the success of any community, especially ours. We wanted to be sure to celebrate her community spirit and achievement with Mahaska Drug winning the national award.”

“I was totally surprised,” said Jane after the ceremony. “I had no idea. I kept teasing the girls. They kept telling me there was going to be a special guest, and so I was asking them, oh, are you going to get Ashton Kutcher?”

“They’d all just laugh and smile, say it’s top-secret,” added Jane.

After the crowd went home, the lights continued to shine, and are scheduled to be on every evening through the holiday season.

After the crowd went home, the lights continued to shine, and are scheduled to be on every evening through the holiday season.

There is little denying that Jane is Mrs. Christmas. One stop by her business, Mahaska Drug, and there will be little doubt how she earned that nickname.

“I just love how it makes everybody smile, how it makes them feel,” says Jane of the downtown lights. “I hope that brings joy to everybody that comes to see it.”

“I would just love to sit here and see people’s faces when they see this for the first time,” added Jane, who reminisced about the first time she saw the lights during a trial run. “The feeling it gave me was just total amazement. That’s how it does it every year for me when the lights come on.”

“It was wonderful how many people came to enjoy the evening,” said Jane in closing.

People arrived in Oskaloosa from all over to witness the annual lighting event. Individuals from the gulf coast to next-door neighbors enjoyed the warmer than usual November night.

It wasn’t just the lights, but horse-drawn wagon rides, hot chocolate, a visit from Santa Clause, and some of his reindeer all made up part of the evening.

You can enjoy more downtown Oskaloosa events as ‘Merry Little Downtown Christmas’ is scheduled for December 3rd, 2021. The next night is the annual lighted Christmas parade.

You can find out more about these and other events by visiting the Oskaloosa Main Street Facebook page by clicking HERE.

Posted by on Nov 21 2021. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed

                   

Search Archive

Search by Date
Search by Category
Search with Google
 
Log in | Copyright by Oskaloosa News