The Moultrie Observer
Moultrie’s Christmas ornaments apparently are popular with local collectors. They routinely sell out when they go on sale Thanksgiving night.
The 2012 ornament will honor The Moultrie Observer and is the 25th ornament sold that depicts a downtown building. The ornaments go on sale for $10 on Thanksgiving night at the annual “Lights!Lights!” Christmas lighting on the Courthouse Square.
About 700 of the ornaments are sold each year, according to Amy Johnson, executive director of Moultrie Main Street. Ornament sales are the primary fundraiser for the Downtown Moultrie Association that promotes downtown merchants and has projects such as providing snow for the annual Christmas parade.
“A lot of people collect them. It is very important to some of them,” Johnson said.
She tells the story about a New Orleans couple with Moultrie connections who had collected an ornament for every year and then lost the collection in Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Johnson would see the couple about every two years trying to replace the ornaments.
The first ornament which featured the Courthouse cupola sold out and had to be reproduced, she said. The Main Street office has some ornaments from previous years still available. Sold out ornaments include the train, the Arts Center, the theater, Carnegie Library, the Friedlander building, the Chamber of Commerce, the Federal Building and the Courthouse with lights.
This year’s version will be sold on the Courthouse Square and the local artist who created them will be available to sign them. The ornaments also will be available at The Moultrie Observer and other participating downtown businesses. This year’s ornament marks the 101st Christmas that The Observer has occupied its building at 25 N. Main St.
Ornaments from previous years that sold out depicted buildings such as First Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, the Courthouse, and the Senior Center.
This is the fourth ornament created by local artist Andrew Underdown who moved to Moultrie five years ago. He got the design from a photograph taken of The Observer in the late 1970s. The ornament required 20 hours of digital illustration to produce. Underdown has done a few portraits for individuals here and has painted murals around town including one at the Colquitt County Arts Center. He works at Georgia Boy Custom Wear and Design.