Johnston City kicks off holiday season with 'Hometown Christmas' - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Johnston City kicks off holiday season with 'Hometown Christmas' Festival

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Johnston City, Ill. -- With Thanksgiving now in the rear view mirror, thousands of people celebrated the start of the holiday season at Johnston City's Hometown Christmas Festival. 

There, kids had a chance to write letters to Santa and meet him in person for photos. 

"I myself decorate a lot for Christmas, and it just means a lot to the community," said Alec Caulson.

He says seeing the happy faces on all of the children running around fills him with the Christmas spirit. 

"My favorite part it just seeing all the emails on the children's faces," he said. "It just puts a big smile on my face and that's what its all about."

For some, those smiles came from meeting their favorite Christmas-based characters like the Grinch. For others, it was face painting or running around to their heart's content that lit up their faces. 

Tiara Hundley's family stopped by on a whim after seeing all of the lights and said it turned into an event they're sure to return to. 

"We were just driving through and we saw the lights and everything and we stopped and the kids were excited," she said. "They saw the Grinch and that was the end of it."

The event also featured a play area for kids, live music and plenty of giveaways to help spread Christmas cheer. 

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