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25 years of Christmas in Davidson, celebrating community

Posted By David Boraks On November 28, 2012 @ 5:07 pm In Business,Calendar,Cornelius,Davidson history,Downtown & old Davidson,Huntersville,South Main Street | Comments Disabled

Thousands packed Main Street Friday night (David Boraks/DavidsonNews.net)

Thousands packed Main Street during the 2011 Christmas in Davidson. (David Boraks/DavidsonNews.net)


Christmas in Davidson started out 25 years ago as an extra night of shopping at Main Street businesses, but it’s always been something much more for local merchants and residents.

Even that first year, despite its origins as a shopping promotion, there was a sense of community, recalls Elaine McArn, owner of the Needlecraft Center on North Main Street. “It was low-key, but even then it had a really good feel to it,” she said.

Ms. McArn was among a trio of founders that included Irene Blackwell, of the Village Store, and Barbara Freund of Main Street Books. What has made it so special over the years, she said, is the spirit it brings to town.

Christmas in Davidson founders, from left, Irene Blackwell, Barbara Freund, Elaine McArn

Christmas in Davidson founders, from left, Irene Blackwell, Barbara Freund, Elaine McArn. (Photo credits: Davidson College Archives (Blackwell), David Boraks/DavidsonNews.net)

“There is a certain small-town feel to this that is really special,” Ms. McArn said. “It’s what people want at Christmas.”

This year’s Christmas in Davidson festival runs Thursday to Saturday nights, 6-9pm, along Main and South Main streets. There’s still shopping, but the festival has come a long way from 1988. In 2011, the three-night event attracted an estimated 30,000 people.

And while shopping is still a part of the event, it has grown to include a variety of traditional events, including carriage rides, food, music and a South Main Square skating rink. This year’s festival, has a charitable twist: a 25th anniversary collection of 25-cent pieces, in glass jars at South Main Square and the Village Green, with proceeds going to the Davidson Lands Conservancy.

New features include a Gingerbread House contest at the Copeland House on North Main Street, as well as the Doggie Fashion Show and the Ugly Sweater Contest. There’s music and entertainment on the Village Green and at businesses up and down the street, a food court with local restaurants, and local schools and nonprofits raising money with hot chocolate sales and more. And Santa will visit with children at the Davidson public library.

It seems everyone has an idea for how to get involved, even if their businesses or organizations aren’t on Main Street. CrossFit Davidson will have a “magical reindeer food” station outside Summit Coffee where children can create bags of sparkly feed to take home to attract Santa’s sleigh. And CrossFit, which is a couple of block off Main Street is collecting used cell phones to donate to the non-profit organization Cell Phones for Soldiers Inc.

The Rotary Club returns this year with its tree decorating contest. Businesses and residents are invited to sponsor trees – by decorating them or letting the club do the work. Visitors will vote for the best trees by making a small donation, which will go to Rotary charities. Check out the trees at the North End of the Village Green.

Town officials are saying thanks to Davidson residents for their hospitality all these years by offering discounts on carriage rides and skating on Thursday night. All carriage rides and ice skating will be $7.50 per person – a 25 percent discount in honor of the festival’s 25 years.

“We really want to thank the community for allowing 30,000 people to descend on our town. We’re thanking people for their graciousness and hospitality,” said Kim Fleming, Davidson’s Community and Economic Development Manager.

Kim Fleming

Kim Fleming

Twenty-five years after its origins, Christmas in Davidson is a chance to “showcase Davidson as the great community it is,” Ms. Fleming said. “We also want it to be an event that’s good for business and something that citizens enjoy.

But taking off her official hat, and speaking as a resident, she said she loves the annual festival for the same reasons that Ms. McArn enjoyed it that first year.

“What I like most about Christmas in Davidson is seeing everyone,” she said.


See more about Christmas in Davidson and find a full schedule of events christmasindavidson.com

Nov. 25, 2012, “Sign up for Christmas in Davidson ugly sweater and doggie fashion shows” – This year’s festival brings back the Doggie Fashion Show on Friday night and the Ugly Sweater Contest on Saturday night, both on the Davidson library porch.

See past coverage of Christmas in Davidson on DavidsonNews.net.

Nov. 28, 2012, Main Street to close Sat. for N. Meck Christmas Parade.

Dec. 4, 2011, “Was this the best Christmas in Davidson ever?” – Around Davidson Columnist Brenda Barger reflects on the 2011 festival.


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#1 Comment By Myelita Melton On November 28, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

(via Facebook) And…don’t forget it’s Open House night this Friday at WDAV on Main Street in Davidson from 6-9pm. Best hot chocolate; amazing cookies, music, and lots of great people! All we need is YOU!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here’s more info

WDAV Holiday Open House, 6-9pm, WDAV-FM studios, 423 N. Main St., Davidson – Holiday Open House at classical public radio station WDAV-FM. Meet the staff, enjoy hot chocolate, cookies, and live music with Davidson College vocal groups, pianist Ethan Uslan, and a bucket band from Musical Minds, an elementary school program that aims to initiate social change through music. More info: WDAV.org

#2 Comment By Nanette Haraden On November 28, 2012 @ 8:55 pm

(via email) I wanted to let you know that the Cornelius Youth Orchestra has partnered with members of the Hough High band, Hough and Bailey orchestras and Hough High chorus for a performance this Thursday night 11/29 from 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM at Davidson United Methodist Church as part of Christmas in Davidson. We will have around 60 members in the orchestra and 30 choir members for this performance. It should prove to be one of the largest area youth musical events of the holiday season.

#3 Comment By Karen Toney On November 28, 2012 @ 8:58 pm

Ben & Jerry’s Christmas in Davidson schedule

Thursday night 6-9 pm. FREE Craft time! Come and make a Jingle bells necklace, Reindeer puppet or snowflake ornament!

Friday night 6 to 9- More better FREE craft time! Come and make a bell ornament, Reindeer puppet or “spoon ornament”

Saturday afternoon, Mecklenburg Christmas parade. We will open at 12 am with hot chocolate made with our famous hot fudge for sale.

Saturday night 6 to 9- Most More Better FREE Christmas crafts. Glue, glitter, tape and paste. We will have it all. See what there is to make!

#4 Comment By North Meck Community Chorus On November 28, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

(via email) Friday, November 30, 2012, at 8:30pm, North Meck Community Chorus’s Left @ 25 vocal jazz group sings live at Christmas in Davidson, in front of the library.


#5 Comment By David Boraks On November 28, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

See our related stories about special events during the festival including the Gingerbread House contest, Doggie Fashion Show and Ugly Sweater Contest (still time to enter)


#6 Comment By Natisha Rivera On November 28, 2012 @ 9:21 pm

The Rotary Club of Davidson Invites You to the Christmas Tree Village

Davidson, NC–The Rotary Club of Davidson invites you to join us at the 2nd Annual Christmas Tree Village being held in conjunction with Christmas in Davidson November 29, 30 and December 1st. After we are all stuffed with turkey and all the fixings we will be heading out this weekend to get the trees set up on the green.

We are seeking local business sponsors to purchase trees. There are two options available: 1) Sponsor a tree for $200 and decorate to your delight –or- 2) Sponsor a tree for $250 and the Rotary Club will decorate the tree for you. Trees will have signage; there will be press releases and announcements online via the status of the voting for the favorite tree. We need the support of several local business sponsor trees in order to help build the Christmas Village. This is a great, inexpensive way to get your name in front of over 20,000 individuals that come out to enjoy Christmas in Davidson-not to mention you are helping support local charities! Visitors will be able to vote for their favorite tree by purchasing a ticket for a dollar.

Come down and take a stroll through the Christmas trees and vote! To learn about sponsoring a tree, please contact Natisha Rivera-Patrick at natisharivera@yahoo.com.

You may also take home a piece of Christmas in Davidson by purchasing a FRESH Frasier Fir wreath from The Rotary Club of Davidson’s table. The wreaths are a product of North Carolina and are on sale for $25 for non-decorated and $50 decorated. Quantities are limited.

Proceeds raised from the event will support the Ada Jenkins Center, the Davidson Cornelius Child Development Center and Rotary’s other charities. The Rotary Club of Davidson meets every Tuesday at Sabi Asian Bistro from 5 pm – 6 pm. We invite you to join us to learn how to become part of an organization working to help change lives!

#7 Comment By David Boraks On November 28, 2012 @ 9:22 pm

Cornelius Elementary School 3rd, 4th and 5th graders in the Recorder Ensemble and chorus will perform at “Christmas in Davidson” on Friday night, Nov. 30, 6:30pm on the library steps.

#8 Comment By Davidson Historical Society On November 28, 2012 @ 9:25 pm

The Town of Davidson and The Davidson Historical Society are pleased to announce the arrival of this year’s holiday ornament celebrating the 175th anniversary of the town!

Price: $15 each

The ornament is beautifully crafted of pewter and features several historic buildings in the downtown business district. A brief history on the founding of Davidson is engraved on the back of the ornament.

This ornament is the 5th in a series of annual pewter holiday ornaments from the Davidson Historical Society.

Missed our 2011 (Eumenean Hall), 2010 (SPC Transformer House), 2009 (Helper Hotel) and 2008 (Beaver Dam) ornaments? A limited number of these ornaments will be available for purchase for $10 each. Sets of the series of 5 will be available for $45.

All ornaments may be purchased at the Davidson Historical Society booth on the Davidson Town Green during Christmas in Davidson, Nov 29-Dec 1, and at these Davidson stores beginning at Christmas in Davidson and throughout the month of December:

– Davidson Chocolate Co.
– Main Street Books
– The Village Store
– Wooden Stone

(All proceeds benefit the Davidson Historical Society)

#9 Comment By Kim Fleming On November 28, 2012 @ 9:29 pm

from downtown manager Kim Fleming

Christmas in Davidson is November 29, 30, and December 1 from 6:00-9:00 p.m. each night. Please be aware of the following street and parking lot closures during this time:

– Main Street from Concord Road to Jackson Street will be closed from 4:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m. each night of Christmas in Davidson.
– The parking lot between Summit and Ben & Jerry’s will be closed starting at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 29. It will reopen on Sunday, Dec. 2.
– Part of the parking lot at South Main Square will be closed after midnight on Tuesday, Nov. 27 to allow for the construction of the ice skating rink.

Everyone’s safety during this event is of the utmost importance. The following procedures are in place during Christmas in Davidson:

There will be multiple hand washing and hand sanitizing stations throughout the Town.

New this year (exciting, I know) will be port-a johns located behind the Food Court and at South Main Square.

There will be 2 paid EMTs positioned at South Main Sqaure to take care of any mionor injuries in addition to our Police and Fire Departments.
Lost & Found will be located at the information booth on the Village Green.

Crowd control personnel have been hired to keep the carriage ride lanes clear and safe.

Davidson Police officers will patrol areas that have a higher propensity to have more cash on hand.

The Christmas in Davidson event committee would like to thank the Town of Davidson and its residents for their support of Christmas in Davidson over the last 25 years. In commemoration of this anniversary, we are offering a 25% discount on carriage rides and ice skating on Thursday evening, November 29 from 6:00-9:00 p.m. We thank you for your hospitality and graciousness over the years in sharing our community with all those that attend Christmas in Davidson. (All carriage rides and ice skating will be $7.50 on Thursday, Nov. 29)

Christmas in Davidson has a long tradition of giving back to the community by supporting local non-profit organizations. In celebration of the 25th anniversary we are sponsoring 25 cents for 25 years. There will be two collection locations, the Village Green and South Main Square, where the public can donate quarters to a Davidson non-profit. The Davidson Lands Conservancy will be the beneficiary of all money collected during Christmas in Davidson.

The Christmas in Davidson oranment is being produced by the Davidson Historical Society and will be avaiable for $15 during Christmas in Davidson at Davidson Chocolate Company, Main Street Books, The Village Store, and The Wooden Stone.

Many of you expressed an interest in the collage of pictures that Jan Black put together for the 25th anniversary of Christmas in Davidson. Jan will have those prints available during Christmas in Davidson or you can contact Jan directly at janblack77@gmail.com.

#10 Comment By David Boraks On November 28, 2012 @ 9:38 pm

Main Street Books in Davidson will have book signings by a lineup of local authors over the three nights, beginning at 6:30pm:

Thursday, Nov. 29 – Tom Cotter, “Rockin’ Garages”; Jan Blodgett and Ralph Levering, authors of “One Town, Many Voices,” the new history of Davidson.

Friday, Nov. 30 – Donna Earnhardt, chidlren’s author of “Being Frank.”; 10-year-old authors Sydney Campanella (“The Mystery Birthday Gift”) and Lauren-Kate Stewart (“Commander You You and the Imperial Diamond.”)

Saturday, Dec. 1, Judy Goldman, “Losing My Sister”

#11 Comment By David Boraks On November 29, 2012 @ 7:37 am

Party at Flatiron Friday

Flatiron Kitchen + Taphouse will celebrate Christmas in Davidson Friday night with a party in the parking lot including music by Charlotte band Aqualads.

The restaurant at 215 S. Main St., Davidson, will be serving hot cocoa and cider out front and in the food court all weekend during the festival, which runs Thursday to Saturday nights, 6-9pm. The food court booth also will have cheese steaks and caramel apples.

On Friday, the Aqualads will play, thanks to a family connection with Flatiron’s upstairs neighbors, Cocoon Salon. Friday’s party also will include cornhole, fire pits for roasting s’mores, and beer and soft drinks.

Manager Earl Gillon reports that they’re also running a gift card promotion: Buy a $20 card at the restaurant this weekend and get a free cheesesteak or caramel apple down at the food court all three days. Info: http://www.flatirononmain.com/

#12 Comment By David Boraks On November 29, 2012 @ 8:20 am

Here’s another event downtown this weekend: The End of Movember Mo’ Down party at Summit Coffee, 128 S. Main St. Saturday, Dec. 1, 8-10:30pm, on Summit Coffee back patio.

Team Summit celebrates the end of Movember, a month dedicated to raising money and awareness of men’s health. Tickets ($10 single, $15 couple) on sale at Summit. Mustaches encouraged. Everyone welcome. Dancing shoes required.

A team of Summit Coffee friends and employees has been growing mustaches and raising money this month for Movember. See Nov. 1, 2012, “First a shave, then a mustache for Movember”

#13 Comment By David Boraks On November 29, 2012 @ 9:08 am

TOWN HALL: Paintings by Nancy Marshburn

Oils and pastels by Davidson artist Nancy Marshburn is on display this month in the rotunda at Davidson Town Hall, 216 S. Main St. The show will be on display during Christmas in Davidson. See more about her work and the show: http://davidsonnews.net/guide/2012/11/15/nancy-marshburn-oils-pastels-at-davidson-town-hall/

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URL to article: http://davidsonnews.net/blog/2012/11/28/christmas-in-davidson-a-celebration-of-community/

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