ELLERBE — Despite less than stellar weather, that didn’t stop the northern Richmond County town from hosting its 10th annual Hometown Christmas Tuesday evening downtown.
Although the festivities are usually held outside, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus moved indoors to the Ellerbe Fire Department where the Cameronian Quartet provided singing entertainment. Next door in the Town Hall, local handmade crafts were sold, as well as hot dog meals by the Order of the Eastern Star.
Two brand new bicycles were raffled off inside the Fire Department in addition to door prizes, such as a giant stocking from Ellerbe Telephone Company, a gift basket from The Berry Patch and other prizes from BB&T Bank, Carroll’s Pantry and Carolina Farm Credit.
“The weather seems like it’s cooperating with us tonight,” said Ellerbe Mayor and Berry Patch owner Lee Berry. “I told everyone to dress warm, and it’s great that we are able to host Hometown Christmas for another year. I appreciate all of our downtown businesses for staying open and for everybody that came out.”
Ellerbe, which is attempting to re-brand its downtown area around the Main Street stoplight as an antiques destination, saw county residents perusing the local shops looking for Christmas gifts. Each storefront — including Carolina Antiques, Nancy’s This & That Shop, Corner Furniture and Collectibles, Curious Cat’s Marketplace, The Webay Store and Crystal Palace — was decorated with wreaths, bows, lights and Christmas trees.
“This is a great opportunity for people to come in and see all the wonderful items that have been found from all over and placed in our stores,” said The Webay Store owner Myrna Troxler. “It’s great to see people walking up and down the streets downtown.”
The town officially opened up its holiday season when it lit up it’s own Christmas tree at 6 p.m. in the town park, also located on Main Street.
Local restaurants Dixie Burger and Denise’s Diner kept open their doors for those wanting to grab a bite to eat while in Ellerbe, while Rankin Museum had free admission and local crafts set up inside.
Said Town Clerk Jane Smith, “This is a time to come and greet your friends, stroll the streets of Ellerbe and feel the magic of Christmas.”
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-817-2674 and follow him on Twitter @mattyharrelson.