By Wendy Byerly Wood
Horse and carriage will travel down Main Street, children will laugh and smile as they carry a parade of lights through downtown, and the holiday spirit will be in full force as Elkin hosts Light Up Night for the community Dec. 4.
In similar fashion to last year, Jennifer White, a member of the Main Street Advisory Board and one of the Light Up Night committee members, said, “Downtown will be open with merchants hopefully decorating and doing special deals for the holiday.”
While the formal Light Up Night events will be observed from 5 to 9 p.m., Elkin Public Library’s coordinating events will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. so people can enjoy puppet shows at 4 p.m., 4:45 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. as well as decorate gingerbread man cookies for the two-hour span prior to going out and enjoying the events throughout the rest of downtown.
The Elkin Masonic Lodge will have an added feature for this year’s Light Up Night, a ham and egg supper charity fundraiser scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. at the lodge, 114 W. Market St. Supper will include eggs, country ham, grits, biscuits and drinks, with to-go orders available for $8 per plate.
The downtown festivities will include Foothills Arts Council’s Open Air Art Market, which begins at 5 p.m.
A highlight for the kids will be the Lantern Parade, said White. “At 6 o’clock, we are having the kids meet at Rhythm on Main to be in the lantern parade. It will start at 6:15.”
Kids should make their own lanterns at home using milk jugs, battery-operated tea lights and decorations, with instructions available on the Light Up Night Facebook page.
The parade will end at the Christmas tree lot, at the corner of North Bridge and Market streets, where there will be special musical performances followed by the arrival of Santa Claus. Once Santa arrives, the countdown to the tree lighting will commence at about 6:30 p.m.
Following the tree lighting, Santa will be available for visits with children the rest of the evening in the front entrance area of the Habitat ReStore across the intersection from the town Christmas tree lot, White said.
Throughout the evening, horse and carriage rides through downtown will offer a unique experience for those attending Light Up Night, with rides beginning and ending in the Wells Fargo Bank parking lot on West Main Street. Also, dancers from the local studios, and possibly cloggers, will perform in the parking lot of The Liberty at 222 E. Main St.
For those seeking refreshments, free hot cocoa will be available as long as it lasts at Yadkin Valley General Store on East Main Street and Roxxi and LuLu’s Bakery on West Market Street, said White.
For those little ones hoping to get a letter in to the North Pole, Santa’s Mailbox already is set up at the Christmas tree lot, and those placing letters to Santa in the box will get responses back from the Jolly Old Elf, she said.
“We set up [Sunday], we’ve got new decorations, a new fence. The kids can start putting their letters in the mailbox,” said White of the town tree lot. “In general the plan and overview is the same, but we’ve refined it and are making it even a little more of a production this year.”
Light Up Night is being held on behalf the downtown merchants and the Main Street Advisory Board, by a committee of several moms who have come together to coordinate it, said White, noting that after a few additions last year like the lantern parade, the committee has nearly doubled in size.
“The loved it so much last year, which is wonderful,” said White.
“It’s a free event, so there is no charge. It is a great time to come and be part of our community,” she said. “It’s a great family event. We had a larger turnout last year than we anticipated, so we are planning for another great event and we hope everyone comes out to kick off the holidays with us.”
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.