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franklin county times

Childhood’s joyland

Since we announced the news last week that the Franklin County Arts and Humanities Council would be reviving the holiday classic, “The Legend of Toyland,” for a multi-show run at the Historic Roxy Theatre this year, reaction has been jubilantly positive.

It’s always fascinating to review Facebook analytics and see which stories are drawing the most interest from our Facebooks “fans” and subscribers. Sometimes we’re surprised at which features turn out to be the most popular – but it was hardly a surprise to see “Toyland” get such a favorable response. After 208 shares and more than 22,000 people “reached” – Facebook’s somewhat vague figure for how many people have come across the post in total throughout the social media site – we’re pretty sure the news of Toyland’s triumphant return is well-known across Franklin County. If not, it will be soon.

And we’re just as excited as anyone.

There’s nothing like a good holiday tradition to really ramp up the joy and merriment. Franklin County is already home to a number of treasured seasonal traditions, like Holly Day and community parades, and we think “The Roxy’s Legend of Toyland” will be a wonderful addition to the season.

For so many, the show brings with it a delicious feeling of nostalgia, recalling years of attending the annual show as a child. The beauty of it is, you don’t have to actually be a child to revel in childlike wonder at this magical performance.

And besides the fact that we’re all about Christmas, there’s another big positive factor that shouldn’t be overlooked. We expect to see “Toyland” hailed as a major driver of holiday tourism here. People from all across the region love “Toyland,” and when they come see it in Russellville this December, not only will their ticket purchase – and the support of sponsors – benefit the Roxy theatre, those show-goers will go out after for dinner or coffee; they’ll maybe get in a little Christmas shopping at downtown retailers; and they’ll gas up their vehicles at Franklin County gas stations as they head back home. It cannot be overstated how crucial a thriving tourism industry can be to the economic well-being of a county or municipality, and we feel sure “Toyland” is going to be just the attraction needed to draw a few of those tourism dollars to Russellville and Franklin County.

The only downside here, that we can see, is waiting five months for the curtain to rise.

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