Living Windows bring in the holiday season with a chill

Taffy Schneider sings Christmas songs for passersby in the window of Southbank Gift Company during the Living Windows festivities Friday evening. Schneider, a freshman at Jefferson City High School, has been singing for 6 years and is currently working on an album.

Taffy Schneider sings Christmas songs for passersby in the window of Southbank Gift Company during the Living Windows festivities Friday evening. Schneider, a freshman at Jefferson City High School, has been singing for 6 years and is currently working on an album.

People gathered around storefronts along High Street on Friday, eager to see this year’s Living Windows displays.

Though the crowds were smaller than years past because of below-freezing temperatures, many still turned out to gather around displays of dancers or singers, see Santa Claus at Hawthorn Bank, and even watch a young woman in holiday dress get a shoulder tattoo.

Store owners and volunteers handed out cups of warm cider and cookies to cold passersby as people walked from window to window, and the lobbies of Hawthorn Bank and Central Bank were full of people warming up with food, drink and entertainment.

Tanya Brennan had a difficult time tearing her 2-year-old daughter, Skyleigh, away from the greyhound dogs displayed in the window of Midwest Travel Consultants. Brennan said this was the first year of Living Windows for her and Skyleigh, as they just moved to the area. And being from Iowa, Brennan said the cold temperatures weren’t enough to keep them away.

“So far, it’s pretty good,” Brennan said.

A parade of children and families could be seen heading to Tolson Drug Store, where the Jefferson City Animal Shelter had five puppies on display and ready to adopt.

Jackie Fischer said nearly every child attending Living Windows on Friday must have come through the store wanting to hold or play with one of the puppies.

“They’re getting lots and lots of loving,” Fischer said as children asked if they could hold one or how to buy one.

Angie Stonner and her two children, Maggie and Sam, braved the cold and started their evening at the candy cane house in front of the Cole County Courthouse.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Stonner said.

Stonner said she attends Living Windows every year and this year Maggie, 7, danced at Grace Episcopal Church.

“I like that we get to see everything,” Maggie said, when asked what her favorite part of Living Windows is.

Stonner’s son Sam, 5, chimed in too: “I like the candy cane house!”

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Living Windows video shot by Steve Mays on Dec. 6, 2013, at Coffee Zone in downtown Jefferson City.

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