Merchants ready for Open HousePublished 7:00pm Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Annual Christmas kickoff set this weekend
Christmas is just around the corner and businesses in the downtown business district are excited to kick the season off right with the annual Christmas Open House Sunday afternoon with a preview Saturday night.
Gary McCaig, owner of Genesis Style Salon and Ragtime Antiques, said Open House is one of his favorite events throughout the year.
“This is something all of our business owners in downtown look forward to each year,” McCaig said. “We always get excited about this event because it’s the one time we are able show off what we have to offer. And we always have a big crowd for the event.”
While Christmas Open House has only been in existence in the last couple of decades, McCaig said that Hartselle merchants have always found ways to celebrate the Christmas season.
“I can remember us doing a Christmas celebration in downtown since the 1960s,” McCaig said. “One time, the merchants even chipped in to give away a car to a lucky customer. While it hasn’t always been a Christmas Open House, we’ve always done something to celebrate the Christmas season.”
McCaig said what sets the event apart from the others is that it is about the businesses in downtown.
“It’s not like Depot Days which is a street festival,” McCaig said. “This is about the businesses. It’s a time when we can showcase to everyone what we have to offer here in Hartselle.
“While everyone may not purchase something that day, it gives us a chance to meet the people of the community and invite them into our businesses,” McCaig said. “I think that’s one of the most important things we can do.”
Participating businesses will open their doors Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. for the preview night followed by Christmas Open House on Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m.
Santa Claus will be making an appearance at the gazebo outside of the Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce. The chamber will also offer refreshments such as cookies and punch while the Hartselle First United Methodist Church bell choir and others will be providing Christmas music.
McCaig said merchants will also offer refreshments in their businesses.
One change this year is that the Taste of Hartselle will not be held as a part of the Christmas Open House. Chamber president Susan Hines has said that Taste of Hartselle will be held at a different time of the year as a separate event.
McCaig said he hopes everyone will come out.
“We invite everyone to come out to downtown,” McCaig said. “We’re hoping for good weather, but even if it does rain, we still have awnings over our sidewalks to protect our customers. We’re looking forward to another great year.”