Welcome to the City of Sarcoxie’s new website! Actually, welcome to the City’s new website project. The City, Chamber of Commerce, and various community organizations are in the midst of a complete revamping of our website and have decided to go with a soft start to establish a framework that can be built upon with new pages and content.
The goal of our new website is two-fold. First we want it to be the premiere source of information for the folks who live in and around Sarcoxie. Secondly, we want it to be a window front that shows the world our little community. When fully up and running, people accessing our website will be able to find useful information as well as contact us with questions and information.
Please be patient as we work to turn our goals into a reality we can all use and be proud of. And please keep checking back to see the additions and changes.
Christmas on the Sarcoxie Square
Over the years, Christmas on the historic Sarcoxie Square has always brought a sparkle to the eyes of delighted youngsters and adults alike. In the early 1900s, Sarcoxians celebrated in their homes over roast beef bought from Charles Hagar’s store. During the night, Santa Claus slipped in and out of homes showering sleeping boys and girls with toys and gifts purchased from the Red Front Mercantile.
Celebrations changed in 1915 when the Commercial Club and the ladies of the Sunshine Club led a movement to place a BIG Christmas tree in the public square. They placed numerous small gifts on the tree so all the “Little Ones” who may have been less fortunate might have gifts, too. The event was called “Everybody’s Christmas Tree”.
The Christmas tree name became the “Community Tree” in 1928. Youngsters lined up to see Santa Claus in the person of Leo Lafoon circle the square and unload 500 packages, placing them under the “Community Tree”.
From year to year, Santa has arrived finding weather conditions very different. To his surprise on Christmas 1930. he arrived to balmy weather….no snow, little ice and skies bright with sunshine!
The tradition of the “Community Tree” and Santa’s much anticipated arrival continued over the years. In 1934, the parade with marching bands and floats was added.
The war years put a damper on celebrations as our young folk went to fight. By the 1950s, the square was once again bustling with people as the old traditions resumed. In 1952 the parade members strutted down Center Street hill, Santa arrived and the local merchants gave away turkeys. Amusement was provided when six guineas were thrown from the top of the bandstand creating a mad scramble for the birds
Santa has appeared arriving on or in various modes of travel. In 1940 he was able to have his own sled, thanks to the Commercial Club. In 1969 he arrived in Harlan Fieker’s wagon pulled by his ponies and Paul Buerge provided a team of Clydesdales to transport the “Jolly Old Man”. As Santa departs his vehicle he is greeted by excited children eager to provide their wish lists. In the past Kleeman’s Grocery Store along with other inviting locations always provided a welcoming chair. Now the ”youngsters and oldsters” both enter the Sarcoxie Senior Center to visit with Santa and warm up with hot chocolate.
The event has taken on a new look in the last four years. Merchants open their businesses offering “Christmas Goodies” and wonderful prizes can be won. A new musical light display draws visitors to the square each evening to gaze at the sparking lights choreographed to Christmas music. The parade still advances around the decorated square with storefront windows full of enticing holiday displays. The floats from the local churches and local organizations slowly advance with waving riders and then Santa makes his appearance on the city fire truck with siren ringing out the holiday season. Yes, changes have occurred over Sarcoxie’s historical past but residents still feel blessed to live in a small town that desires to hang on to the joys of children’s squeals of laughter and adult awe struck faces as Christmas on the Sarcoxie Square arrives!
As visitors depart the festivities heading east toward I-44, a scene catches their attention. The real reason for the season illuminates on the hill east of Center Creek. The Nativity Scene, lighted for the first time in 1962, looks down upon exiting visitors. The first crèche was a private endeavor by Dr. Leroy Simmons who commissioned the first figures. Over the years damage to the display has occurred but local citizens continue to assist in restoring the display.
Information taken from Yesteryear, The Sarcoxie Record
Compiled by Michelle Gautz 2014