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Noel is a village in McDonald County, Missouri, United States, along the Elk River. The population was 1,832 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers Metropolitan Area. It is home to a large population of Muslim Somali and Sudanese refugees, many of whom work at a Tyson Foods chicken-processing plant.HistoryA post office called Noel has been in operation since 1886. The community was named for C. W. and W. J. Noel, stockmen and owners of a saw mill.Noel later capitalized on its Christmas-themed name, along with North Pole, Alaska, Christmas, Michigan, Santa Claus, Indiana and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Each year, tens of thousands of Christmas cards and letters are sent to the USPS Noel Post Office during the holiday season to be stamped with a postmark reading, "Noel, Mo. - 'The Christmas City in the Ozark Vacation Land.'" This practice became popular by the late 1940s when Kate Smith, a radio and television singer, began telling the "Noel Story" during her broadcasts.Noel is home to a Tyson Foods plant, where chicken is processed for human consumption. By 2010, between 400 and 500 Somali refugees, and 60 and 70 Sudanese refugees, out of 1,800 residents, lived in the town, most of whom worked for Tyson Foods. In 2011, 130 Muslim employees stopped working temporarily after they were discouraged from praying five times a day for fear of low productivity. Tyson Foods later released a statement dismissing it as a cross-cultural misunderstanding.Noel is in Missouri (MO). Add Noel and other destinations to your itinerary using our United States trip maker app , and learn about what to see, what to do, and where to stay.
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