Christmas at the Bushnell brings the spirit of the season to Downtown Springfield

The holidays will be in full swing as Christmas at the Bushnell returns to Downtown Springfield.

The free, family-friendly event runs from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, in the Bushnell Event Center, at 14 E. Main St, and will be filled with characters, music, vendors and more.

The Bushnell Event Center will be decorated for Christmas, and Abshear says they want the event to be welcoming to children and families who can build memories that last a lifetime.

“I think it’s our way of giving back to the kids,” Abshear says. “People don’t have to feel rushed in or out. They can spend as much time as they want just enjoying the fun.”

Santa will be set up for photos in his traditional red and gold chair starting at 4 p.m., and families can take pictures at no charge. John Fleeger will be serving as Santa at the event.

Families can also enjoy photos with other characters, too, including DJ Grinch and Ricky the Robot. DJ Grinch will also be providing music and Ricky the Robot will be busting out his best dance moves.

And about 20 vendors will be set up.

“It’s another way to bring the community Downtown and to help local vendors this time of year get their products out,” says Lisa Abshear, general manager for the Bushnell Event Center.

Vendors items include anything from stained glad to clothing to jewelry to candles and more, Abshear says.

Children’s author Ellen Hawkins will also be at the event – both selling some of her books and presenting a story time for kids.

A magic show will also take place during the event, and every child who attends will receive a craft and a goodie bag.

“It’s just a great way to bring the holiday spirit out while we showcase the Bushnell Event Center space,” Abshear says.

Local food truck Joe Joe's BBQ will be set up in the Bushnell parking lot and will be serving hot cocoa in addition to their regular menu.

“We really want to bring the whole magic and feeling of Christmas,” Abshear says. “We want all those memories of Christmas as a kid to all come flooding back, and we want to bring back the magic and surprise and anticipation of seeing Santa.”
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