Hamlet’s Old Fashioned Christmas festivities kicked off Friday evening, and lasted for two nights in Hamlet’s downtown district.
Friday night the jolly old elf himself, Santa Claus, appeared on his 1953 Farmall tractor.
Entertainment for Friday evening included: DJ Jimmy Reese, The Butterflies Praise Team, Beth McDonald, Vicky Daniels, Charles Ellerbe, and Bob Dotson on guitar.
There was also a live nativity scene at First Baptist Church on Hamlet Avenue.
Many businesses opened to served refreshments, hot chocolate, cookies and candy.
A parade of boats was presented at the Hamlet City Lake.
The president of Hamlet Business Development Ron Mayo began the event Saturday evening as everyone gathered around the Train Depot, announcing the night’s itinerary. Mayo and other participants were dressed in “Old Fashioned” attire and served well as crowd motivators, pumping the holiday spirit into the group.
“Is everyone having a good time … Merry Christmas,” Mayo cheered.
The Hamlet Visitor Center and Tornado Building were also open for tours and offered a vast and detailed history of Hamlet. There were endless displays of memorabilia to see and learn about.
One of the main attractions at the event was the free horse and carriage ride provided by Jones Hitch and Company in Proctorville. The vintage styled carriage transported about 15 people along Main Street and was pulled by two gorgeous Belgian Draft Horses.
“These horses typically weigh about 2,200 pounds,” said attendant Matt Hudson.
The Duck Express train successfully attracted parents and children with the destination of Santa on their mind. The train departed from the bottom of the street and ended at Main Street Central, where Santa and Mrs. Claus waited for eager kids. The line to the train steadily lasted throughout the event.
“It’s been wonderful here,” said Cassandra Colson of Hamlet, “there’s definitely more to it than I thought.”
Families leaving Santa’s station and heading back to the Depot encountered carolers Stan and Linda Jacobs of Rockingham. They sang a selection of Christmas favorites and were dressing the part as well.
“This is our first year here,” said Mr. Jacobs, “but we’ll definitely come back if they’ll have us.”
Saturday’s entertainment on Main Street also included performances at the Depot by Backlash Bluegrass, St. Mary’s Gospel Choir, Sue Jarvis, Brass Quintet, Links Barbershop Quartet, Danny Infantino and Seren Lyerly. As the bluegrass band performed, some members of the choir were inspired by the music and joined in by dancing inside the building.
— Staff Writer Cassidy Odom can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 16, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.