This is the second year that the square in Madill has been decorated with a festive, Christmas flair. Executive Administrator to the Commissioners Mary Hale said the tradition was born as a memorial. “In November of 2018, Gary Ayres came to me and said someone he knew, Josefa Huerta, had lost her Dad in January of that year and wanted a way to commemorate the life he had lived and how much he meant to her and her family.”
Huerta had a small ceremony with a Christmas tree in mind. Hale said she had been mulling around starting a tree lighting ceremony for some time. Even though there were a few road blocks, she did not let that deter her.
“As a member of the Madill Beautification Committee, I knew that having a light display and Tree lighting at City Lake had been discussed, although funds were not available and the current electrical was not equipped to get that started. From that moment, I knew what I was going to do; I was going to make sure a tree was lit that year, not only for Josefa, but for the Community and Marshall County as a whole,” Hale said.
This need sparked a movement, and the Marshall County Christmas/ Christmas on the Square emerged. Hale said it did not take residents long to chip in for the memorial lighting.
“In a matter of three days, donations were received to supply decorations, a 12’ Christmas tree was purchased, use of the Courthouse lawn, everything needed for the Ceremony to coincide with the Marshall County Christmas parade around the Square that Saturday.”
The evening of the parade, people amassed around the square to enjoy cookies and hot chocolate. A prayer over the community was given, and Huerta and her family lit the tree. Hale said it was “a symbol of love,
respect and unity.”
Even though the new year marched into 2019, the donations continued to pour in. Shirts were sold to raise money for the 2019 lighting. Hale said materials to build a 16-foot, weather resistant, custom tree were donated.
Hale said a simple gesture went a long way in uniting the community. “What began as three people getting together, has grown into a Community event.”
She said this year, several businesses are involved to be a part of the parade and Christmas on the Square. The festivities begin at 6:00 p.m. on December 14. Hot dogs, drinks, popcorn, cookies and hot chocolate will be on hand. Children will be able to meet Santa, write him letters and make ornaments. Mrs. Claus will read stories to the children.
The Madill Band will be blessing the event with their musical talents.
Hale said there is an even bigger picture in mind. “The ultimate goal of Marshall County Christmas/Christmas on the Square is to not only bring our Community together, but to raise funds for the Madill Beautification Committee to assist in a future Light Display at Madill City Lake for everyone to enjoy.”
For anybody wanting to make a donation or receive more information about Marshall County Christmas/ Christmas on the Square, find us on Facebook@MarshallCountyChristmas or contact Mary Ann Hale at 580.677.0319.