Crowds of people flocked the streets for Saturday’s annual Christmas on the Square celebration in Rockingham. This marks the 15th year that local vendors, churches, and other organizations have come together to celebrate the winter holiday with the community.
Carolyn Ford, one the event planners, said it was the best turnout yet.
“The weather was the best that we’ve had in a long time,” Ford said. “I think that played a big part in the success. Everybody seemed to be really happy.” It was sunny and mild most of the day.
Ford worked in conjunction with Vickie Mullis and Joann Cadieu for this year’s event. Eighty-five vendors, both local and regional, set up tents on Harrington Square to sell an assortment of foods, baked goods, candies, Christmas items, handmade crafts and jewelry. Several organizations were also present to help promote their cause in the community.
East Rockingham Fire Department gave out information about proper fire prevention and safety techniques, while Mt. Carmel Free Will Baptist Church featured the famous purple “Flush Away Cancer” toilet supporting Relay for Life and breast cancer research.
The annual Humane Society dog show was held at noon, and many pets came dressed in Christmas sweaters for the event. Behind the square, classic cars and a few newer models from the Richmond Cruisers lined up for spectators to admire.
Children also got the opportunity to have their photo taken with Santa Claus. Other popular attractions for the kids were the castle jump, climbing wall, and train and pony rides.
Several groups performed on stage with Christmas carols and holiday acts including the Broadway Baptist Church Youth Group of Sanford, N.C., Richmond Senior High School Chorus, Ladies of Praise from St. Peter United Methodist Church in Hamlet, the Hamlet Senior Shakers cheerleaders, St. Sinai Tiny Tots Praise Team, Hamlet Middle School Honors Choir, cheerleaders from the 9th Grade Academy, junior varsity and varsity programs at Richmond Senior High, and Step 2 It Dance Studio of Rockingham.
Encouraged by the turnout, Ford said she is already making plans for next year’s Christmas on the Square.
“We’re going to try to support the Toys for Tots program next year with the Marines,” Ford said.
Christmas on the Square is sponsored by Rockingham Downtown Corporation, Richmond County Tourism Authority and the City of Rockingham.
— Staff Writer Mallory Brown can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 16, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.