Santa Claus will arrive in Osceola on two Saturdays before Christmas. As soon as he arrives he will go to the Tourist Park where the parade will assemble. Some thirty elements will be incorporated in the line of march. The birth of Christ will be depicted; the three wise men will be there; school children will be dressed in costume. The Osceola band was to lead the march but the players decided it was too cold for their brass horns so this part was left off.
After the parade the business men are giving a free motion picture show at the Lyric to every child under high school age and as they leave the show each will be handed a big treat.
More than $200 has been raised by the businessmen for the purposes of providing these two days of entertainment. The first is for the children and the next is for the grown-ups.
There will be a turkey throw the next Saturday from buildings around the square when more than 100 turkeys, geese, ducks and chickens will be tossed into the arms of the waiting crowd. The exact manner of throwing the poultry has not been decided and it is possible that there may be other gifts thrown at the same time.
One of the largest Christmas shopping crowds seen in Osceola in years came to the city the next Saturday for the big poultry throw staged by the businessmen of the city. After a week of sub-zero weather, Saturday was comparatively warm. The sun shown brightly and the temperature ranged well above zero. Cars that had been too stiff to start during the week could be cranked Saturday noon and by 1:30 parking space was at a premium and at the time scheduled for the first throw there was scarcely standing room on the east side of the square, a huge crowd filled most of the street in the center of the block.
At the last minute it was decided not to throw the fowls themselves from the buildings. Word had been received that similar events in other cities had not turned out so well. Enthusiastic scramblers for the poultry had in some instances literally torn the living birds to pieces in their efforts to get possession of them. While it was not thought by the committee that this would happen in this community, it was thought best to avoid any chance of such a revolting occurrence.
Coupons on tags were printed that entitled the holder to the bird designated when presented at a local produce house. These tags were tied to toy balloons and floated down on the crowd.
The first throwing was from the roof of the old Simmons Bank building (Iron Horse Restaurant location), after its conclusion it was announced that the next would occur on the south side. By that time the crowd was almost as large there as on the east side. The next was from the Courthouse tower and the fourth from the Lewis building on the north side. The last was from the west side.
The merchants of the city feel well repaid for the money and effort they have spent in attracting crowds to the city during the two greatest shopping Saturdays of the Christmas season. They have profited, not only in increased sales but in good will created for the city as well.