UNION — Perfect weather, lots of music, plenty of food, shopping opportunities, and a visit by a certain Jolly Old Elf helped draw a large crowd to this year’s Christmas Open House in downtown Union Thursday evening.
The event began at six p.m. when Main Street between Herndon and Mountain streets was closed to traffic. Over the course of the next three hours, a large number of families and individuals would walk up and down Main Street, purchasing food from a variety of vendors; being entertained by musical performances on the street and in some of the businesses that remained open for the event; browsing and shopping; and, at one location getting their picture taken with Santa Claus.
Union County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Torance Inman said that despite work taking place on the railroad crossing on Main Street, Thursday’s Christmas Open House went off without a hitch, drawing a large crowd that enjoyed the event and all it had to offer.
“I believe this was one of the better Christmas Open Houses we’ve had in several years,” Inman said Friday morning. “Although we had to battle the railroad crossings we had a huge number of people to attend the event.”
The large turnout was attributed by Inman to a number of factors including the weather and the participation of many Main Street businesses.
“The weather was absolutely perfect, which contributed to people staying longer and enjoying music, food, and other activities,” Inman said. “The majority of the retail merchants participated by staying open and providing special deals. Several had not only light refreshment, but musical entertainment.”
Inman said that he’d received a number of comments about Thursday’s event, describing them as “very positive. Everyone seemed to enjoy the evening.”
Those who contributed to making the evening a success were thanked by Inman, among them a very special visitor who posed for pictures with children attending the event and who within a little over a month will be making a return visit to Union County.
“I’d like to give a special thanks to the Public Safety Department, they did a really good job,” Inman said. “I’d also like to thank the businesses that participated. I’d also like to thank Santa Claus for having a big night for the children at Wells Fargo.”
Light Up Main
Inman also announced Friday the winners of the Light Up Main contest.
Sponsored by the Union County Chamber of Commerce, the contest recognizes Main Street businesses that go the extra mile in decorating for Christmas. The contest places special emphasis on outdoor lightning, hence the name Light Up Main.
There are three categories: Retail, Financial, and Service.
Inman said the winners of the 2015 Light Up Main contest are:
• Retail — Keepsake Jewelers
• Financial — Wells Fargo
• Service — Ashley W. Turner Agency, State Farm
The winner of the Service category of the Union County Chamber of Commerce’s Light Up Main contest is Ashley W. Turner Agency, State Farm. Darlene Kausholz receives the award which honors Main Street businesses who go the extra mile in decorating for Christmas.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.