Christmas cheer coming to Maplesville

Published 11:41 am Tuesday, November 21, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Christmas cheer is spreading through Maplesville in anticipation of Old Fashioned Christmas set for Dec. 3.

This free event is open to the town and surrounding communities as a time to come together, slow down and enjoy the season.

Activities are planned from 2 to 6 p.m.

“We need to go back to like Mayberry times or even Hallmark, those are just sweet precious moments of a town coming together,” Librarian JoAnn Ratliff said.

Since the parade was canceled for this year, Ratliff wanted an event to fill the void.

Ratliff contacted Maplesville United Methodist Church Pastor Barry Holmes and his wife Cheryl about participating and using the church’s garden and fountain in the event. The Holmes agreed.

“It kind of blossomed from there,” Ratliff said.

Several members of the community have been working on planning the event.

The organizing group is hoping to bring the warmth and joy of Christmas from days gone by to Maplesville downtown.

“My grandparents are from here so I have lived here and been up and down the streets and looked at the beautiful buildings that are here,” Ratliff said.

Committee member Kim Bearden said the community has gotten away from tradition, and it is something they want to get back to.

Barry Holmes said he is hoping the event will become an annual event.

Activities are spread out along the town’s main street with churches and the Maplesville Library contributing. Ratcliff said the library will be hosting crafts and goodies in addition to Elf on the Shelf activities. She said the large patio at the church provides the perfect spot.

Musical presentations were coordinated by Pam Bearden, music pastor at Maplesville Baptist Church.

Singer Donica Knight will make a special appearance to kick off the musical performances at 2 p.m.

An opening ceremony will be held at 2:15 p.m.

An Ugly Sweater contest will be held at 3:45 p.m. in front of Diane’s Hair and Nail Salon

and Trendy Chic Boutique on Highway 22. The crowd will vote on the winner.

A scavenger hunt will also be held with the winner being announced at 4 p.m.

Karen Ford said a list of items will be handed out and participants will take a photo of each item as they find it. Sheets will then be turned in to the organizer’s booth.

“Whoever gets the most off the list, we will have a first, second and third place prize,” Ford said.

Santa Claus will arrive at 4 p.m. and be available for photos and meeting with children until 6 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring a camera because their will not be a photographer accompanying the jolly red elf.

A fun-filled photo booth will also be available for attendees to take their own quirky holiday photos.

A display of Nativity scenes will be set up in the Methodist Church.

A special reading of the Christmas story will be presented before the lighting of the Christmas tree at 5 p.m.

The impromptu singing of Christmas Carols is encouraged at this time.

Valle Grande Mexican Grill also has a surprise planned for the event.

Carriage rides and refreshments will also be available.

While the event is free, monetary donations to the town’s Toys for Children campaign and canned good for the Little Free Pantry will be accepted.

Some are also hoping for a little Christmas magic in the form of snow flurries for the event.