Holiday Open House

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 20, 2009

Annual open house kicks off holidays

By Rita Howell

Retail businesses in Batesville will kick off the Christmas season with the annual Holiday Open House on Sunday. For about 30 years, on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, local shop owners have opened their doors to welcome shoppers with refreshments and festive decorations, hoping to put customers in the mood to begin their Christmas shopping.

Batesville’s Main Street downtown revitalization program has expanded the Open House to include carriage rides, activities for children, and a Christmas bazaar featuring work by local artists.

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“Santa’s Workshop” will be in the store building next to Flint’s Hardware and will offer free activities for children, according to  Colleen Clark, Batesville Main Street manager.

“Santa’s elves will help children write letters to Santa and make reindeer food,” Clark said. “They’ll also decorate miniature Christmas stockings.”

For the first 150 shoppers, there will be free reusable tote bags with coupons to be used on Sunday. The bags will be distributed in Santa’s Workshop.

Horse-drawn carriage rides, which will cost $2 per rider, will depart from the Downtown Memorial Park.

About 10 local artists will sell their work in the Christmas Bazaar, located in the store building next to Stubbs, Clark said. Also in that location, photographer Malcolm Morehead will be making pictures of children with Santa.

The Open House event is not limited to downtown stores. Merchants all over town traditionally participate.

Businesses who advertised their open houses in The Panolian include: Phil Webb Office Supply and Hallmark Shop, Plaza Jewelers, The Candle and Gift Shoppe, The Tan Shop, Bobbie’s Home Decor, Kay’s Gifts, Dale Copeland Jeweler, Southern Creations, The Rugged Cross and Talk of the Town.

Hours of the Open House are 1-5 p.m. For more information, call 563-3126.