LAURINBURG — The Christmas holiday may be seven months away, but some residents are already getting into the spirit.
‘Tis The Season was started by a group of women after they visited the Night of a Thousand Candles event at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrell’s Inlet, South Carolina.
“We began talking about how we used to celebrate Christmas and decided we wanted to bring back that nostalgic feeling of Christmases past,” said the group’s secretary, Cynthia Womble.
Terry Parker, director of ‘Tis The Season, said the purpose of choosing Christmas is that everyone loves Christmas.
“Most ladies watch Hallmark Christmas movies,” Parker said. “Let’s have that here and use it to unite and rebuild a sense of community.”
Carol Coughenour, one of two co-directors, wants to bring the community together as it once was.
“It truly is a heartfelt thing. I’ve lived here all my life. My hope is that our community can work and come together for the good of us all. It’s really just about being together and people loving Christmas.”
‘Tis The Season is an organization with a five-year plan to make the holiday season in Laurinburg/Scotland County a winter wonderland for not just our citizens, but also for others in surrounding areas.
For this first year, some special plans are for an artificial ice skating rink and four artificial snow machines to create this winter wonderland atmosphere. There will be many holiday events beginning the Sunday after Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve.
“Downtown will have new lighting and refreshed Christmas wreaths and business fronts decorated with fresh greenery and lights. We hope to have the windows of our downtown businesses display beautiful Christmas scenes” said Janice Creed, co-director.
This year will include a 18-20 foot Christmas tree in the Art Park with a truly special ceremony for the lighting. There will also be Christmas trees that line downtown for businesses and organizations to buy and decorate. Christmas carolers in period costumes will stroll downtown. Another event is a singing Christmas tree comprised of singers from throughout the county.
Another way to bring the community together will be a Skype event where the community may speak with soldiers who are deployed and cannot be home for the holidays.
There will also be a video of residents sharing favorite memories of the holiday season in Scotland County. The video will play at designated times at the AB Gibson Center throughout the season, as well as playing at clips at football games.
“We really want recommendations for the movie montage that’s going to be playing. We’re going to ask them their favorite memories from growing up at Christmas in Laurinburg,” Parker said.
Fundraising will be well underway by June to fund these events. “It is going to take volunteers and donations to make this happen”, said Parker.
The ‘Tis The Season website recently launched laurinburg-christmas.com. There will be more information as the season draws nearer. People can also submit names of people with good holiday stories for the video.
“Tis The Season has an executive board and 11 committees focusing on the different events for the holiday season. More volunteers are needed to help and those who wish to can fill out the online form.
Reach Katelin Gandee at 910-506-3171