ALBEMARLE — There will be no shortage of holiday cheer this weekend in the streets of Albemarle as the annual An Albemarle Downtown Christmas returns for its 30th year.
Festivities for this year’s event are set for Friday, Dec. 1, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Presented by the Albemarle Downtown Development Corporation, the night is designed to create opportunities for local businesses and vendors to open their doors to the public and extend past normal business hours.
“Bring your family and friends to this special holiday celebration. At 5:30 p.m. we’ll flip the switch on the Christmas tree at City Hall,” Albemarle Downtown said in a social media post, teasing the annual tree-lighting ceremony hosted by Albemarle Mayor Ronnie Michael.
“Children will enjoy activities including bounce houses, hayrides, face painting, power wheel rides, a craft activity, and a visit with Santa at Courthouse Square Park. We’ll also have food trucks and street vendors and our downtown businesses will have special extended hours so you can cross off all the holiday gifts on your list.”
The event serves as a prelude for the Albemarle Christmas Parade — set for Saturday, Dec. 9, between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. — where Albemarle native Alice “Nanna” Davis was recently announced as the grand marshal. The deadline to register as a participant in the parade is Nov. 30th.
The ADDC and Albemarle City Council had previously opted to combine the two holiday events but have reverted to their normal format due to a low turnout.
“We’re really eager to host these events and have visitors come in so we can make them feel welcome,” Joy Almond, Main Street manager for the City of Albemarle and Albemarle Downtown Development Corporation, told SCJ. “They can see all the exciting things and positive changes that are happening downtown as they come through and enjoy the festivities.”
Dining options will be available at Food Truck Corner, located at the parking lot of First and Main Streets. What-a-Burger #13, Higgins & Son Barbecue, and J&M Food Shack are among the vendors that have typically attended this event, along with a station offering beverages from the Badin Brews taphouse.
Local downtown restaurants such as Off the Square, Five Points, Goody Shop Café, and Tiffany’s At The Boardroom are a few of the businesses that extend past normal business hours in coordination with An Albemarle Downtown Christmas.
Additionally, the Stanly County History Center, Stanly County Public Library, and Albemarle Music Store will each be open with special Christmas displays and activities for kids.
Around the rest of the county, the Norwood Christmas Parade (Nov. 29), Oakboro Christmas Parade (Nov. 30), Locust Christmas Parade (Dec. 2), Badin Winterfest (Dec. 2) and Palestine Christmas Parade (Dec. 3) are each coming up soon too.