Special to Iredell Free News
Merchants in Downtown Statesville are preparing to kick off the holiday shopping season with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.
Enjoy the beginning of the official Christmas season with the lighting of the Christmas tree on Thursday, November 30. The Holiday Shop & Stroll Spectacular, scheduled for Friday night, December 8, will feature shopping, live music, merchant open houses, trolley rides, a few snowflakes, and Santa, of course!
Don’t miss any of the exciting opportunities to celebrate the season in Downtown Statesville.
Black Friday (November 24) & Small Business Saturday (November 25)
Dive into the magic of Black Friday and Small Business Saturday with an unforgettable shopping experience. Local merchants are gearing up to showcase exclusive deals and one-of-a-kind finds, ensuring your holiday gift-giving is nothing short of extraordinary. As you explore the cozy boutiques and specialty stores, discover treasures tailored to everyone on your list. This is more than just shopping; it’s a celebration of community and the heart of local businesses. Support Downtown, uncover hidden gems, and relish the joy of finding that perfect holiday treasure. With every purchase at participating businesses, you could win $100 in Downtown Statesville Dollars! A winner will be drawn on Monday, December 4. Visit www.downtownstatesville.com/small-business-saturday for more information.
Horse Drawn Carriage Rides – November 30; December 7 & 14
Experience the holiday season with the timeless charm of horse drawn carriage rides in Downtown Statesville. Whether it’s a romantic date night or a family adventure, these carriage rides add a touch of whimsy and elegance to your holiday celebrations. Be sure to reserve your spot and immerse yourself in the joyous spirit of the season. More information can be found at www.downtownstatesville.com/tis-the-season.
Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting – Thursday, November 30
The official Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting is set for Thursday, November 30, in front of the Iredell County Government Building located at 200 S. Center Street. Enjoy classic holiday songs performed by the Boys & Girls Club Chorus from 6 to 7 p.m. and watch Santa arrive in style, thanks to AP Vintage Motors. Santa and Mayor Kutteh will begin the countdown to light the tree at 6:45 p.m.
· Train Rides at Griffin Insurance. Train enthusiasts of all ages will love a ride on the Little Blue Choo. Adults and children alike are welcome to take a free ride in the Griffin Insurance parking lot located at 139 East Broad Street from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
· Horse Drawn Carriage Rides sponsred by Griffin Insurance – The wonderful tradition of surrounding yourself with the sights and sounds of the holidays in a beautiful horse-drawn carriage ride through Downtown Statesville will continue this year. Carriage rides will be available for purchase beginning November 21 at www.downtownstatesville.com/tis-the-season.
· Downtown Shopping & Dining. Retailers are donning their holiday best, welcoming shoppers with decked-out stores stocked with this season’s finest gifts for everyone on your list. Discover great deals and special in-store events as you explore the vibrant Downtown scene. Don’t forget to check out the enchanting festive window displays that add an extra touch of holiday magic. Plus, when you’ve worked up an appetite, our downtown restaurants are ready to treat you to a feast of delightful menu choices.
Holiday Shop & Stroll Spectacular – December 8, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Mark your calendars for an unforgettable evening on Friday, December 8, for the Holiday Shop & Stroll Spectacular! Venture into merchant open houses, with many extending their hours until 8:30 p.m. Visit the live nativity and carolers, and be dazzled by the twinkle of holiday lights. Plus, don’t miss the chance to hop on a festive trolley ride and maybe even catch a snowflake or two.
Check the list below for details and join us to make lasting holiday memories with your loved ones.
· Visit Santa Central at City Hall – Santa Central will be filled with fun for the little ones! Visit with Santa Claus and his elves, write a letter and send it straight to the North Pole with the magic mailbox, and make a craft with Santa’s elves! There will even be popcorn and hot cocoa for warming up!
· Tours of City Hall Sponsored by The Sharpe House Historic Players from 6 to 8 p.m. Take a tour of one of the architectural gems of Statesville decorated beautifully for the season! Learn about its history and reconstruction and enjoy visits from ghosts of its past. Tours presented by The Sharpe House Historic Players.
· Victorian Carolers and Music. Let the festive melodies surround you at the Shop & Stroll. Victorian Carolers will be roaming the streets throughout the night to bring cheer to everyone around. But that’s not all – catch live music in a variety of locations throughout downtown.
· Train Rides at Griffin Insurance sponsored by the Statesville Civic Center. Train enthusiasts of all ages will love a ride on the Little Blue Choo, provided by the Statesville Civic Center. Adults and children alike are welcome to take a free ride in the Statesville Civic Center parking lot (located at 300 S. Center Street) from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
· Live Nativity at First ARP Church at 6:30 & 7:30 p.m. The Nativity Story will be presented live outside the front of First ARP Church, located at 123 East Broad Street, with presentations at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Special music will be provided prior to and between performances by the First ARP Choir and Organist. They will provide cookies and hot chocolate. In the event of bad weather, the presentations will take place in the sanctuary.
· Holiday Selfie Stations located throughout Downtown. Take a pic to post with your friends and family!
· Holly Jolly Trolley Rides sponsored by Griffin Insurance from 6 to 8 p.m. Surround yourself with the sights and sounds of the holidays on an old-fashioned festive trolley ride through Downtown Statesville. Be entertained with magical holiday fun provided by Center Stage Alliance as you and your family see the beautifully decorated streets of Downtown Statesville aboard the festive Holly Jolly Trolley! The Holly Jolly Depot will be located at the Downtown Christmas Tree located at the Iredell County Government Center at 200 S. Center Street with stops throughout Downtown.
· Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides, sponsored by R. Gregory Jewelers – R. Gregory Jewelers will be hosting carriage rides in front of their store with donations accepted for Purple Heart Homes.
· S’mores Station from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Warm up by the fire, roast a marshmallow, and enjoy a warm gooey S’more. Statesville Fire Department will be there to make sure everyone safely enjoys the evening! The S’mores Station will be located next to Sub Express from 6 to 8:30 pm. This is a free activity.
· Open House at the Historic Sharpe House from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Visit the home of Statesville’s first mayor beautifully decorated for the Holidays. Take a stroll down to The Sharpe House Historic Players’ Pasture Stage and see the festive light display at the Christmas Park. Live entertainment with Mr. Marvel the Magician from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
· Downtown Shopping & Dining. Retailers are putting on their holiday best and opening their doors to shoppers. Stores will be decked out and stocked with this season’s best gifts for everyone on your list. Many of the shops will provide great deals and special in-store events. To go with the holiday shopping season, downtown restaurants are ready to treat you to the holiday feasting season.
Additional December Events
♦ November 30 – December 8 — “Home for the Holidays” Gingerbread House Contest sponsored by Allen Tate Realtors. Downtown will be hosting a gingerbread house contest throughout participating businesses! Enjoy a stroll through downtown and vote on your favorite house! Want to be a part of the competition? Visit https://www.downtownstatesville.com/gingerbread-competition/ to apply. First-place winners in each category will receive $100 cash!
♦ December 1 – January 6 — Holiday Statesville Story Stroll – Run, run, as fast as you can to help us catch the Gingerbread Man. Can you help us catch him as your read your way through Downtown Statesville? Participating local businesses will have story panels in their windows for your family to enjoy. Follow along with the story, then head over to the Iredell County Partnership for Young Children to claim your prize.
♦ December 2 — Whoville Celebration at 4:30 p.m. at the Statesville Civic Center. Presented by Iredell COAST, doors open at 4 p.m. with vendors selling food and drink items. Movie starts at 6 p.m. (Free.)
♦ December 7 – Holiday Pops with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra at 6:30 p.m. at the Statesville Civic Center.
♦ December 8 – Nutcracker Ballet 6:30 p.m. at Mac Gray Auditorium. Presented by Betty’s School of Dance.
♦ December 10 – Statesville Christmas Parade at 3 p.m. Sponsored by the 30th Masonic District of North Carolina.
♦ December 16 – Gingerbread Workshop for Kids at 10:30 a.m. and 12 noon. Looking for a fun activity for the kids? Bring them to The Watering Hole located at 226 West Broad Street to make their very own Gingerbread House. Sponsored by City of Statesville, The Watering Hole and The Vanilla Bean Bakery & Coffee Shop. Seating is limited, so reserve your spot at www.downtownstatesville.com/tis-the-season.