Up & Coming Weekly

November 23, 2021

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 14 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM 14 UCW NOVEMBER -28, 2021 Shop owners to decorate their windows for holidays by ELAINA J. MARTIN EVENTS Light Up the City: A Holiday Decoration Celebration is com- ing to the Cool Springs Downtown District. e event is free for all who wish to attend or participate and encourages shop owners to decorate their windows for the holidays. e idea is to bring residents downtown to view the lights and decorations. e decorations turn downtown Fayetteville into a deco- ratively lit winter wonderland. It is ideal for taking photos and making memories. Last year, 35 businesses, restau- rants and downtown museums took part in the event. It is a great way to fill downtown Fayetteville with holiday spirit. Some locations are decked out with Christmas trees, others strung up lights and lots of places put up garland. People can take a self-guided tour downtown. A map will be available on the Light Up the City: A Holiday Decoration Celebration Facebook event page (facebook. com/events/262093505957203) highlighting the establishments that are taking part in the event. Maps of businesses taking part in the Light Up the City will also be available at 222 Hay St. beginning Dec. 1. e event will take place from Dec. 1 – 31. Letters to Santa will also return with this event and there will be a giant five-foot red mailbox in which children can send their Christmas lists and Santa letters to the North Pole. e "Direct to the North Pole" mailbox will be located outside of the Cool Spring Downtown District's office at 222 Hay Street. Just next door downtown vis- itors will also find the Holiday Alley, a photographic urban holiday oasis designed to spark joy and filled with holiday lights and decorations. Families can visit and take pho- tos in the alley. "Last year, we saw hundreds of families come, enjoy the holiday decorations and take photos of their children at the photo sta- tions," said Lauren Falls, director of marketing and events for the Cool Spring Downtown District. is is the third year Light Up the City: A Holiday Decoration Celebration will be held and it is the second year patrons can mail a letter to Santa and visit the Holiday Alley. Businesses are invited to sign up for the event by visiting this link, forms.gle/2YDiUgAZYu7PTfRq5. ey must have decorations up by Dec. 1. ey may decorate their storefront or inside their business to qualify and share the event link on their social media pages. Pedestrians checking out the many lights can vote for the View- er's Choice Award, the best display in participating businesses. e window voted best dressed wins $250. "Last year, we had around 500 people vote for the Light Up the City Viewer's Choice Award poll and the winner for last year was the United Way of Cumberland County," said Falls. In addition to the businesses that have deco- rated, there will be a 14-foot tree decked out in holiday finery. e community tree will be located at 301 Hay St., in front of the Arts Council of Fayetteville and Cumberland County building and will likely be a prime spot for visi- tors to take photos. Memories to be made during Dickens Holiday by ELAINA J. MARTIN In the tradition of Charles Dickens' classic short story, "A Christmas Carol", the annual A Dickens Holiday is a Victorian-era holiday shopping and entertainment celebration held in his- toric Downtown Fayetteville. A Dickens Holiday is intended to encourage the community to shop and support local businesses during the holiday shop- ping season. is is the twenty-second year that the Arts Council of Fayetteville, through support from the City of Fayetteville, Cumberland County, and the North Carolina Arts Council has planned the event. Vendors line both sides of Hay Street selling a diverse range of goods from hand-knit scarves to metal sculptures, local honey to flavored popcorn — the artisans offer unique products. Shoppers can grab one-of-a-kind gifts to put under the tree. Vickie Toledo used to be a patron, now she is a vendor, e Crafty Rooster. She has been a patron for 16 years and a vendor for four years. "I love the theme and the people who dress up. It makes it so much more fun than a holiday craft fair," said Toledo. "It's a craft fair in the era of Dickens, with all the characters from A Christmas Carol, carriage rides and cider, a beautiful candle-lit march down Hay Street and more. It's a blast." A Dickens Holiday is considered the kickoff event for the holiday season bringing together the best that Fayetteville has to offer. Each year, thousands of onlookers join in the Hay Street festivities. Following guidance from the Cumberland County Health Depart- ment and in light of COVID-19, the Arts Council's Board of Trustees has taken a cautious approach to this year's cel- ebration by encouraging social distanc- ing and offering a lower density of crafters, artists and vendors for the event. Also due to COVID-19, the Dickens candlelight proces- sion to the Market House and firework display will not take place this year. ere will be street performances by Michael Daughtry, David Nikkel, Coventry Carolers, Highland Brass Ensemble and others. In addition, there will be festive holiday perfor- mances by the English Country Line Dancers, a solo violinist, Gilbert Glee, a magician, Highland Brass En- semble, a stilt walker, Oakwood Waits Double Ensemble, Anthony Sutton and Friends, Fayetteville Symphony Youth Orchestra, and the Alpha Omega Dance Academy's ballet excerpts of "e Nutcracker." Characters from "A Christmas Carol" including Father Christmas, Ebenezer Scrooge, the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Christmas Future, Jacob Marley, London Bobbies and the Cratchit family with Tiny Tim will be ambling around downtown, mingling with the spectators. is is Eric Hoisington's fourth year participating in A Dickens Holiday by playing the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. "I am a huge fan of Charles Dickens and have read all of his novels, so it's amazing to see Fayetteville town's peo- ple once again exposed to the quaint- ness of Victorian times and the drama inherent in 'A Christmas Carol' while played out by various town-thespians," said Hoisington. "I walk up and down Hay Street in a bad mood, trying to ter- rorize the crowd with the depravity that is Ebenezer Scrooge." ere are memories to be made at the event including Victorian horse- drawn carriage rides on Hay Street, and Dickens photo cut-outs and a holiday selfie station. e event is free and dog- friendly, though owners should check if animals are allowed inside establish- ments. A Dickens Holiday event will be held on Nov. 26, from 1 – 8 p.m. ELAINA J. MARTIN, Staff Writer. COMMENTS? editor@upandcomingweekly. com. 910-484-6200. Coventry Carolers sing holiday songs on Anderson Street during the downtown Fayetteville A Dickens Holiday event. (Photo courtesy the Coventry Carolers) ELAINA J. MARTIN, Staff Writer. COMMENTS? editor@upandcomingweekly. com. 910-484-6200.

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