ELIZABETHTOWN — It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas in Elizabethtown.
With snowflakes hanging on telephone poles along West Broad and South Poplar streets, as well as holiday banners in the downtown area, the town is set for a big weekend after the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.
On Friday the nation will be emerged deep into the annual Black Friday sales event, as merchants offer shoppers specials on a variety of items. And merchants throughout the downtown Elizabethtown area will be enticing consumers into their place of business with sales.
“This is a pretty big time of year for us — all of us, really,” Ricky Leinwand, owner of Leinwand’s, said recently. “People will come from all over the area, and we really appreciate all their business.”
On Saturday, those specials will continue as merchants participate in Small Business Saturday, the annual initiative encourages shoppers to support local businesses during the holiday season.
““It’s very important for us to support the small businesses here in town because they are what provide the local flavor for our community,” Dawn Maynard, executive director of the Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, said recently. “It’s the ability to show off those things that are unique to our community and that’s what small businesses do.”
On Sunday, the downtown area of Elizabethtown will explode with color and Christmas music with the fifth annual Christmas Parade, starting at 3 p.m.
The parade lineup will be at Elizabethtown Town Hall on West Broad Street. Once started, the parade will travel east on West Broad Street, through the downtown area, turn right onto South Poplar Street and finish at the Bo’s parking lot.
The parade is expected to include numerous pageant queens, law enforcement, firefighters, floats carrying church groups, music, military, elected officials, youth groups and school groups. And, of course, Santa Claus will complete the parade.
Prior to all of the holiday weekend events, the Chamber of Commerce will announce the winner of the first Christmas Window Decorating Contest. The judging was to be completed on Monday, with the winner announced on Wednesday.
The winner will receive a ribbon, a holiday gift basket, two free lunches for the December meeting of the Chamber and be recognized in the local media in Small Business Saturday stories.
Another local event that will run through Friday, Dec. 4, is the Bladen County 4-H Christmas Toy Drive. Contributions of new, unwrapped toys are being requested to help those who are needy in the county have a brighter Christmas.
Toys can be dropped off at the Bladen County 4-H office in the Powell-Melvin Agriculture Building on Smith Circle during regular business hours. For information, call Stacie Kinlaw at 910-862-4591.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.