The wreaths have been hung on the light poles in downtown Elkin as the first welcoming sign for the holidays, and as is tradition, the town will formally greet December with its annual Light Up Night on Dec. 1.
Jennifer White, a member of the Main Street Advisory Board, has again coordinated the annual evening festivities, reported Laura Gaylord, Main Street and community manager for the town of Elkin.
Early festivities will include free gingerbread decorating and a puppet show between 4 and 6 p.m. at the Elkin Public Library for children in the community.
“We hope after that people will walk around and shop and go in stores and enjoy the Christmas lights downtown,” Gaylord said.
The Light Up ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m., with this year’s location at the newly complete Rock Façade Park on West Main Street. “We try to feature different locations each year,” she explained. The official lighting event will include a visit from Santa Claus, as long as weather permits, but in the case of bad weather, an announcement will be made at the event as to an inside location for visiting with Santa.
West Main Street between North Bridge and Church streets will close to traffic at 5:30 p.m., and remain closed until 10 p.m. The town is asking that no one park on that stretch of street or in the Wells Fargo parking lots as those also will be closed to traffic.
“All the events going on are scheduled in that area and parking lot,” Gaylord said.
Those events will include a small train for children, and activities for youth by the Elkin Parks and Recreation Department in the form of a kids zone. Vicki Roberts with the Downtown Elkin Inc. will be on hand selling the annual John Furches ornaments as well.
Other activities throughout downtown will include live music by the Elkin Big Band, shops open late with some offering refreshments and live music of their own, farmers market vendors set up until around 8:30 or 9 p.m. at the Elkin Farmers Market shelter, and dance performances in Coley Hall of The Liberty on East Main Street by Academy of Dance Arts and Performance dancers and visiting cloggers at 7:30 p.m.
The mailbox for sending letters to Santa will go up in the coming days leading up to Light Up Night in the grass park at the intersection of North Bridge and West Market Street.
Downtown leaders hope to make the Light Up Night a full weekend of events, as the farmers market vendors will return for their last market of the season Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., a craft market will be ongoing Friday through Sunday in Coley Hall at The Liberty, the Foothills Arts Council gift shop will be open Saturday, the Elkin Community Chorus performance will be Sunday, and Dirty Joe’s Coffee on East Market Street will be the site of a little free library from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.