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Downtown Wilson readies for Christmas in July

Posted on July 22, 2021

Local newsWide Awake Wilson
Participants can visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus during Holly Jolly Holiday festivities Saturday in downtown Wilson.

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Participants can visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus during Holly Jolly Holiday festivities Saturday in downtown Wilson.

bhandgraaf@wilsontimes.com | 252-265-7821

Santa and Mrs. Claus are vacationing in Wilson for the historic downtown district’s first Holly Jolly July celebration on Saturday.

“As we’re coming out of the pandemic and still dealing with parts of it, we could all use something really happy, and what is more jolly than Santa Claus?” asked Amanda Duncan, a co-chair for the Downtown Commerce Group. “You can’t help but be happy when you hear a Christmas tune or sip a cup of hot chocolate or get a picture with Santa.”

Holly Jolly July kicks off at 8 a.m. with the Wilson Farmers & Artisan Market at the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park, where visitors can buy festive goodies, hear a Christmas story, write a letter to Santa, watch a holiday dance performance and sample fare from several food trucks.

At the market or at the Whirligig Station apartments, attendees can pick up a passport, and every five stamps at participating downtown locations equals a raffle ticket for a giveaway basket.

Stores such as The Selkie will have sales, special holiday treats and hands-on activities for all ages. The Imagination Station Science & History Museum and Wilson Arts are offering art workshops for children along with a 1 p.m. Christmas concert in the museum by ProMusic Conservatory.

The Wilson Police Department will collect new unwrapped toys at Whirligig Station and from those who attend a 4 p.m. showing of “The Polar Express” movie at the Edna Boykin Cultural Center.

Photographer Theresa Scott will take participants’ portraits with Mr. and Mrs. Claus to benefit Eyes on Main Street in the galleries on the 100 block of Goldsboro Street.

“This all sort of happened on its own as all the merchants have come together to make it happen,” Duncan said. “There is an amazing fabric of individuals here who love downtown, love welcoming people to the area and getting people to shop small.”

A variety of downtown artists will open the doors of their studios, and Barbara White, Duncan’s co-chair, will raffle off a night stay in the loft at The Edge. Lawyer Rhyan Breen is hiding 10 gift bags around downtown with gift cards from area merchants.

“This is an amazing opportunity for everyone to come downtown to see the growth and development of this area firsthand,” Duncan said.

Visit the shortened link https://tinyurl.com/58pddjek for full details of the festivities.

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