Bringing Christmas to life

It will be another unique and special celebration in downtown Clinton on Dec. 7, as the city once again transforms itself into a Christmas wonderland, one sure to delight children and adults alike.

Without question, merriment will be in the air and fellowship the order of the evening as the Clinton Main Street Program, in partnership with the Sampson County History Museum, Sampson Arts Council, Clinton Kiwanis, Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and area sponsors, brings back Christmas in the City.

For the second year, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church will offer candlelight tours of its sanctuary and grounds as well as providing caroling lessons to those who’d like to have them. Also this year will be an expanded City Lights decorating contest which invites every city home to be put on display. These fledgling events added much to an already magical evening last year, and we are sure it will make the 2017 event more festive and fun than ever before, helping to put everyone who joins in the festivities in the Christmas mood.

In its seventh year, Christmas in the City — complete with the now annual Christmas tree lighting, hay rides, the decorating of gingerbread cookies, carriage rides through downtown, as well as the Kiwanis Secret Shop — promises to once again have something for everyone.

Take, for example, the Kiwanis Christmas Shop, where youngsters will be able to shop for grownups. Little ones are sure to have a lot of fun acting like big girls and boys, shopping for their adult family members with a little help from Key Club elves who will not only assist them with their purchase but ensure they are wrapped and ready to go under the tree before they leave. What fun they are sure to have!

Every year, the holiday event gets a little more special, and brings even more delight to attendees, all who absolutely have to go home filled with the spirit of Christmas.

As it is every year, we encourage residents to take advantage of the wonderful opportunity Christmas in the City affords, an opportunity to come downtown, enjoy a plethora of holiday activities, meet friends and sample some of the things that make our community so special.

Our hope that this event would become the start of a wonderful new Clinton tradition has now been fully realized, and we applaud all those who have had a hand in making each Christmas in the City a bigger and better holiday extravaganza than the year before. It has become something everyone looks forward to each year.

One reason is because each of the events offer something special. The carriage rides give participants a unique vantage point from which to view the city, lit up in its Christmas finery; the gingerbread decorating contest and City Lights provides competition, creativity and just pure Christmas fun; the History Museum offers visitors a chance to stroll through Christmas of yesteryear, listen to music, pick up some handcrafted decorations by the Clinton Garden Club, and sample some old-time Christmas candy at the general store. And, of course, Santa will be on hand at his downtown home so youngsters can come and visit.

And that really just scratches the surface of what can be found as one meanders through downtown on Dec. 7, starting at 5:30 p.m. with the Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

Businesses are expected to be open as well, so visitors can stop and shop along the way, offering support to our friends and neighbors, individuals who support our community in a number of ways throughout the year.

As a reminder, Christmas in the City will be held Thursday, Dec. 7, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., in downtown Clinton. The weather is expected to be nice, cool but not frigid, just the right temperature for a stroll through our wonderful town. It’s the perfect opportunity to let the spirit of Christmas into your hearts and minds.

Join us downtown, won’t you? We promise it will be the kind of night that brings Christmas to life.

Dec. 7 Christmas in the City event won’t disappoint