Plans for holiday activities advanced during the November meeting of the Monett Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
The Festival of Lights had a full line of captains in place to head volunteers at the Elf Hut. The holiday lighting display at South Park will remain open through Dec. 30.
The new arrangement of the displays has worked well, according to Suzy McElmurry, chamber executive director. A number of visitors have commented on the addition of tree wraps and moving some of the bigger pieces to more open spaces.
Adjustments on the depth of some displays will be needed and a little fine tuning here and there. Otherwise, the current arrangement, altered for the Monett Area YMCA construction, will likely stay the same for the next few years, McElmurry said.
More lights appear visible from the highway in the current arrangement, McElmurry said. Attendance at the event for the first weeks has risen from last year as well.
Scott Smith updated the board on plans for the annual Christmas parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10.
In recent events, Cindy Stephens reported that the Festival of Flavors went very well. Attendance at the First United Methodist Church was a little higher than last year, resulting in a sell-out of tickets. Vendors offered positive feedback on the opportunity to show off their holiday menu items and services.
The Leadership Monett class for the year held its graduation, said Walter Branch. The program was well received and had good participation.
Looking ahead, board members agreed to hold the chamber's annual membership meeting on March 8, 2012, in the Southwest Area Career Center commons. Instead of having an overall chairperson, President Regina Bowsher said multiple chairmen will be named, each tasked with a segment of the event. Specific assignments and the event's theme will be finalized at the board's next meeting on Dec. 14.
Meetings to organize the annual agriculture conferences were slated for Dec. 13 at the chamber office. McElmurry said persons interested in specific topics or helping with the conferences are welcome to participate. The session on dairy farming will be held at noon, followed by planning for the beef cattlemen's conference at 1:30 p.m.
The last chamber newsletter focused on "Shop Local" and all the opportunities for finding holiday gifts in Monett. McElmurry briefed board members on the national Small Business Saturday campaign, an effort to refocus shoppers on their local communities following the shopping blitz on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.
Small Business Saturday is a campaign sponsored by American Express and Google. The chamber promoted the effort by distributing posters. According to reports from participating towns, the effort had a definite economic impact. McElmurry said Monett needs to take advantage of the strategy.
Mayor Jim Orr represented the city at the meeting. He said recent sales tax figures show a positive trend for economic recovery. Efforts toward putting new lights at North Park had advanced and should improve the facilities.
At the license office, the 2,206 transactions in November represented an increase of 300 from a year ago. A customer heading to Holiday Beach donated one of his old Iowa license plates to the wall of plates from the states. McElmurry said more donations are welcome.