JACKSONVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — One town in Morgan County has prepared for a record-breaking holiday downtown attraction.

The Farmers State Bank and Trust Company in downtown Jacksonville has converted its building into an Advent calendar this year. Starting December 1st, the 24 windows on the 110 ft tall building will reveal a different design each day.

“We are honored to use our building to brighten the holidays with this fantastic display,” said Joy French Becker, President and Chairman of the Board. “We hope everyone is able to come to Central Park in Jacksonville, and celebrate the countdown until Christmas with the Jacksonville community.” 

Courtesy: Steven Varble

The idea came about this summer when retired teacher Patrick Kennedy realized the newly installed windows were perfect for a calendar counting down the days in December.

“It was obvious almost instantly,” says Kennedy. “It was the perfect location.”

Kennedy contacted Jo Ann Nelson, a former teacher familiar with similar advent displays in Germany, and designer Steven Varble. They then approached the bank with the proposal.

“We were cautiously skeptical at first,” Elizabeth Becker, current bank Executive Vice President, said. “But the more we explored the idea, the more excited we became. Then, we began to look online and found that while there had been slightly larger displays in the past in Europe, we believe this to be tallest today. My own children are very excited to see the building transform each day until Christmas!”

Like personal advent calendars filled with chocolate, the bank will hand out sweet treats to members of the public in their lobby or drive-up as well as enter them into their holiday giveaways.

While the windows will be lit during the day, the bank recommends viewing the lights from dusk to 2am. The advent calendar will be viewable daily until Jan. 6.