Decorating in the Dark

A power outage caused by a vehicle striking an electric pole had volunteers decorating in the dark as work was scheduled to begin Monday on the Trees and Trains display at Ozark Natural and Cultural Resource Center. Most decorating was delayed, but Scott, Kyle and Jessica Wilson were able to use light from a portable lantern and cell phones to place ornaments on a tree provided by Saw Wood Products.

Trees and Trains is back for its 14th anniversary, beginning with an open house 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

Miracle on Main Street is the theme for the colorful display at Ozark Natural and Cultural Resource Center, open Nov. 18 through Christmas Eve day.

Santa is expected in his workshop from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 14 and Dec. 21.

A special celebration will be held Dec. 12. The exhibit will be open from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m., with a performance by the award-winning Salem Chamber Singers at 6:30 p.m.

Christmas eve hours are 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Entries include individuals, organizations, churches or businesses. About 30 displays have begun decorating this week at ONCRC.

Model trains fill the middle of the room. Collections from Bob Thompson and the late Jay White, set up by Thompson and Larry Galloway, are a favorite for young and old alike.

The entire event is run by volunteers. Judy Thompson is coordinator for 2019. Along with assistance from several volunteers, including Barb Pratt, ONCRC volunteers and Judy Apperson, the event is visited by about 4,000 visitors annually. Most elementary schools make time to visit during the season, and visitors from other states and countries have been through the exhibit as they visit family here and in surrounding areas.

Starting over a decade ago, the exhibit has become a favorite among locals and visitors as a way to enjoy the eclectic mix of trees, trains and more to usher in the holiday spirit.

ONCRC is located at 202 South Main. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.