A Brownstown Christmas: Santa visits county courthouse in annual event


Santa Claus recently found his way to Brownstown, just in time to kick off the Christmas holiday season for hundreds of children from throughout the community.

The event was Brownstown’s annual Hometown Christmas, and children — with parents in tow — were lined up the evening of Dec. 12 outside the Jackson County Courthouse ready to tell the Jolly Old Elf what they wanted for Christmas.

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Some kids knew what they wanted to tell Santa, who was dropped off by the Radio 96.3 WJAA’s Cool Bus — transformed into the Yule Bus — in front of the courthouse on Main Street.

“I want an actual motorcycle and an actual truck,” said 6-year-old Rylen Osborne of Brownstown.

While others, including Osborne’s 9-year-old brother, Reece Osborne, didn’t even want to talk about their requests.

In fact, Reece said he wasn’t even looking forward to seeing Ole Saint Nick that much.

The brothers, however, also were there for another reason, their mother Stacy Osborne said.

“Our daughter (Addisyn Osborne) sings in the choir,” she said.

Jade Baker of Crothersville said her husband heard about the event on the radio.

“So we decided to come check it out,” she said. “It’s awesome.”

Her husband, Charles Baker, said all three of their children were excited about visiting Santa for the first time this year.

The oldest of the three, Kaleb Stidham, 8, said he was glad to have the chance to see Santa, but he wouldn’t reveal his Christmas wish list, either.

The event, once known as Old Fashioned Days, has been conducted for more than 25 years and is sponsored by the Brownstown Chamber of Commerce.

At one time, businesses stayed open for the event, and craft booths were allowed to set up shop.

Now, it’s just about just one thing, chamber President Arann Banks said.

“Community spirit,” she said. “It’s a complete night of nothing but giving. There’s nothing for sale anywhere. Everyone just comes and gives. McDonald’s comes and gives. We come and give of our time, and Santa comes and gives. The kids come and give of their music.”

Banks said in recent years, some vendors have asked if they could set up shop during the event and have been turned down.

“It’s not a sell night,” she said.

McDonald’s always supports the event by providing pies and muffins, and other groups besides the chamber come help out, including Brownstown/Ewing Main Street members, town officials and others. And the choir students from the schools come out and sing.

Brownstown Central choral director Stephanie Brock said she never has any trouble finding students from Brownstown Central Middle School and Brownstown Central High School to come out and sing.

“It’s totally voluntary, but they enjoy doing it,” Brock said.

Banks said put it all together, and Brownstown’s just a good place.