Dec 8, 2009

Christmas cheer chimes downtown

by Camille Smith

Downtown Lynchburg is beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go. Take a look at the shop windows, they are Christmassy once again. With Christmas lights, Main Street is aglow.

“Everything is decorated and ready for the holidays,” Angela Hamilton, Lynch’s Landing’s executive director said. Lynch’s Landing’s Holiday Traditions kicked off festivities Saturday morning at the Community Market on Main Street and 12th. The recurring event will continue Saturday Dec. 12 and 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The first Saturday of Holiday Traditions offered pictures with the Grinch at the Galleria and horse-drawn carriage rides free of charge. Carriage rides began at the corner of 10th and Main Street and at the Community Market to tour downtown shops.

“The carriage rides are something that we have been doing for the public for many years,” Hamilton said.

All of the events taking place are Lynchburg traditions, according to Hamilton.

The Community Market, dubbed the “Mistletoe Market” for the holidays, was also transformed for the season. For a small charge, a professional photographer took photographs with Santa Claus between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Seasonal produce, holiday greenery and holiday cooking workshops, were also available, according to lynchburgva.gov.

Janet Rose-Campbell, the marketing manager for the Community Market brought in additional vendors for the Mistletoe Market event.

“We have a Christmas tree vendor coming in as well as the living arrangement wreaths,” Rose-Campbell said. “We have lots of wonderful jewelry makers and some beautiful, unique, one-of-a-kind type gifts that are really affordable.”

The Mistletoe Market has been a part of the Christmas festivities downtown since 2007, according to Rose-Campbell. Like the Community Market, all products are from local vendors and contribute to the local community.

“The Mistletoes Market is an experience and a great memory that families and couples take in together,” Rose-Campbell said.
The festivities continued into the evening on Saturday with the Lynchburg Christmas parade. This year’s parade, themed “A Star Spangled Christmas,” was hosted by the Lynchburg Fire and EMS Foundation, according to Hamilton.

The parade began on Main Street at 5 p.m. to five chimes from the Old City Court House clock and bell. The bell is a Lynchburg heirloom that has been silent since 2000. Its ringing on Saturday was its first in nine years, following a full restoration.

While the winter weather advisories caused parades in Bedford and Amherst to be cancelled, according to ABC 13 news, the Lynchburg Christmas parade went off without a hitch.

Liberty University alumni, Amanda Evans watched the parade with her fiancé at the beginning of the parade route, outside of the Community Market and happily collected candy from parade participants.

“It is definitely freezing,” Evans said. “But this is worth it. Merry Christmas.”

Contact Camille Smith at
cjsmith3@liberty.edu.


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