LAURINBURG — Hundreds of people and even a few clogging reindeer crowded downtown Laurinburg for the 30th annual Christmas on Main.
The downtown tradition kicked off at 1 p.m. Sunday with a different event every hour to keep the participants in the holiday spirit. With bouncing castles, a petting zoo, cloggers dressed as reindeer, singers, football players, Christmas Tree Lighting and none other than Old Saint Nick, Main Street was turned into the North Pole — minus the snow.
“We love Laurinburg, seeing Santa Claus down here, riding the train, there’s just so much to do and it’s a great way to support the community” said Angell Buie. “I’ve lived in Laurinburg almost my whole life and my husband’s from Laurinburg, so we just love it here.”
Pamela Smith said her family has been coming to the event for the past 10 years.
“We want to bring the kids out so they have something to remember, to make memories and it gets us excited about Christmas and the holidays,” she said.
Smith also came out to enjoy the food. Food was available on every block from the Domino’s Pizza truck, to a few local hot dog vendors, people could stop for a quick snack or sit down to eat at 215 on Main. There were also refreshments and snacks offered in various local shops such as Red Willow and Scotland Bling.
The event also brought out a shopping preview for Black Friday. Booths lined along the street with several local business offering special sales.
“We’re very excited, this is our second year doing this and our business has continued to grow,” said Scotland Bling co-owner Chris English, who was featuring hand-made ornaments with a Christmas theme. “We hope that Christmas on Main continues to grow too.”
There were also handmade ornaments also provided by the the Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center of Scotland County. Advocates for the center set up a booth to sell items and accept donations that profit the shelter and services.
“We always hope to raise a million, but we’d like to raise a few hundred to help out with things at the shelter,” said Executive Director Beth Taylor. “Especially around Christmas and the holidays, we want to make things a little more special for our residents there.”
Other booths lining the streets included charities,like American Red Cross, Toys for Tots alongwith local businesses.
“We have anything blingy — bracelets, converse, sneakers, hair-bows, wine glasses,” said Love to Bling Things owner Chaunteckia McCoy. “I came here last year and I didn’t sell a lot, but I got a lot of contacts and referrals.”
Organizers say Christmas on Main allows small business owners to network.
“It brings the community together, gives them a chance to see downtown Laurinburg and gives them a better outlook,” said Russell Evans. “The problem with small towns is Walmart and companies are taking all the business, so we have to fight back as small business owners and bring them out to these events.”
Evans’ business — with Pleasant Valley Stables and Inflatables — provided the bouncing castles and petting zoo.
“People can come out, see Santa Claus, take a picture with him, see a goat, feed a llama,” Evans said. “This is our second year out and it was rainy last year, but the good Lord blessed us with this weather today.”
The downtown event brought out community members out to enjoy many amenities and live entertainment.
“We’ve been out here for four years and we just play some beats for everybody,” said Trenton Troublefield, the Scotland High School drum-line instructor. “We came out to spread some Christmas joy, have fun and entertain everybody and it was raining earlier today, so we plan to turn things around a little bit.”
Abby Hackmann can be reached at 910-506-3171.