The 2012 Christmas season will be kicked off in grand style this weekend in downtown Laurinburg with the annual “Christmas on Main.”
Sponsored by the Laurinburg Downtown Revitalization Corporation, Christmas on Main will begin at 1 p.m. and feature entertainment, food and a few surprise guests. An arts fair will precede this year event, begining this morning.
The holiday event just after 5 p.m. Sunday with lighting of the downtown Christmas tree.
“I think it’s going to be fabulous,” said coordinator Kathy Williamson of the slate of performers and entertainment. “The merchants are really excited to kick off the Christmas season, and this event is a great opportunity to see what merchants have in their stores.
With a visit from Santa Claus already confirmed, Williamson said that this year’s edition of the Laurinburg institution to be one of the best ever.
Available for photographs with children at CM Studio downtown, Santa Claus will have some stiff competition for the attention of visitors this year, said LDRC Chairman Jim Willis.
Willis expects the appearance of Santa Claus to be rivaled by a visit from the reigning 4-A state champions – the hometown Fighting Scots football team.
“We are so excited that the football team is going to play a major role this year. Those guys have brought this community together in a way that is a rare thing. In a way that crosses age, race, sex and economic barriers. Everybody is excited and they are something that the community can really hang its hat on,” Willis said.
“Meet the Scots” is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. at the old Wachovia building and continue until about 4 p.m. Williamson said. Photos with the players will be available for $5.
As usual, the kiddie train will run the length of Main Street, which will be closed off for the festivities.
Santa Claus is scheduled to ride on the train down to CM Studios just prior to 1 p.m.
Always the Sunday before Thanksgiving, Willis called “Christmas on Main” LDRC’s premiere yearly promotion. Restaurants up-and-down Main Street, including the Downtown Deli as well as several food vendors will be open throughout the day.
“Jerry’s Deli and John Brooks from Rocking Horse Barbecue,” will serve as vendors Williamson said.
On the entertainment schedule are a number of local musical, dancing and athletic acts.
1 p.m. Bill Caudill (pipes)
1:30 p.m. Krazy Feet Cloggers
2 p.m. Elite Dancing Academy
2:30 p.m. Scotland High School Color Guard
3 p.m. Triple Toe Cloggers
3:30 p.m. Morrison Martial Arts
4 p.m. Scotland High School Football Coach Richard Bailey and players
“Throughout the afternoon the St. Andrews University Singers are going to stroll down the street doing carols,” Williamson said, adding that she expects a brass quartet from UNC-Pembroke to be in attendance as well.
“The tree lighting will be immediately following Christmas on Main and will have carols and refreshments.”
The lighting of the tree will be preceded by remarks from Laurinburg Mayor Tommy Parker.
Starting the day before Christmas on Main and running concurrent to the festivities downtown will be the ARTScotland Art Fair.
Sponsored by the Storytelling and Arts Center of the Southeast, Lily’s Quit Crafts and Things, and Art by Design, the art fair will feature 18 artisans with wares ranging from pottery to fiction.
The fair will begin today at 10 a.m. and continue until 3 p.m. On Sunday it will run alongside the Christmas on Main, continuing until the tree lighting ceremony.
“(We are) so excited to be able to bring the Art Fair back for its second year,” said ARTScotland’s Jennifer McRae of the fair.
McRae said that she hopes this year’s event will build on the success of last year’s and add to ARTScotland’s growing list of successes.
“Last year the artists and the shoppers all had a great time and we hope that this year will be just as successful,” McRae said.
Jewelry, fine arts, gemstones, wire art, vintage linens, glass, quilts, fabric arts, lamps as well as Christmas-themed decor will all be brought to show by artisans from Scotland County and the surrounding area this weekend.
Many of the artisans will be participating in the Laurinburg-Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce’s ongoing Shop Local campaign, McRae said.
“I am also so happy that we are able to work with the Shop Local campaign and encourage everyone to (buy items made locally). Every handmade gift is a treasure that is made with love, creativity and uniqueness.”
Joining the artisans will be musicians Jennifer Fore and Marianne Peters of the “Jessie Janes” as well as Zach Fore, who will lend his acoustic guitar talents to the second of what McRae expects to be a long line of holiday art fairs sponsored by ARTScotland.
“Sunday (people) are invited to join us for the bluegrass jam,” McRae said, encouraging attendees to bring their own instruments to join in on the fun.
Located in the Storytelling and Arts building, Coffee Tea and Thee will be open for the duration of the fair. Cupcakes and other baked goods will also be sold.