The goblins are gone.
But, Santa Claus will take their place this weekend at Richmond’s 26th Annual Christmas Open House, beginning this Friday.
The original open house coincided with the beginning of deer season to give wives a fun weekend of their own. Although deer season has been pushed back a week, bargain hunters and holiday shoppers can still find a variety of gifts at local stores this weekend.
“You can keep your shopping in town and find a great gift,” said Lynn Pearson, owner of Lynne’s Do-Nothin’ Gifts, who coordinates the event.
The festivities begin Friday, with a sneak-peek of Richmond Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas Extravaganza beginning at 7:30 a.m. at their office on the square. Chamber members sponsored and decorated an assortment of Christmas trees, wreaths and centerpieces the public can vote on as their favorite greenery they’d like to win. The cost is $1 per vote. The public can view the trees until Tuesday, Nov. 25.
An evening stroll past the well-decorated storefront windows of Economy Health Mart would make anyone feel merrier.
“Everybody loves our windows, but the manger scene is the most important,” said Economy employee Nancy Gant. The nativity scene has been moved to the Main and Thornton streets window, so stopped motorists have a better view,” she said. Economy will also have a give-a-away and good discounts on Christmas items during the weekend.
“We got lots of Christmas,” she said. A shopper interrupted her and said, “You got lots of pretty Christmas.”
Linda Leach, owner of Linda’s Floral, and her staff are hard at work decorating numerous themed Christmas trees, as well. Ornaments, greens and floral picks will be available, along with discounts on autumn floral arrangements and bargain items.
Blair’s Furniture, a long-time open house participant, will have certain items at half price.
“We get a lot of ladies from different towns who go to the other open houses that weekend,” said Allen Dale, owner of Blair’s Furniture. “We get local people also, and it’s usually a pretty good event. We enjoy talking to the folks, too.”
Lynne’s Do-Nothin’ has taken the crafts away and replaced them with a fine line of lamps, china, ironworks and home décor accessories. They will have give-a-away prizes and specials throughout the weekend, Pearson said.
Up the road on Highway 13, Die Brot Pann Bakery will feature a special on bakery items for the event. Paul King, owner of the bakery, said they are well-stocked on cheeses, breads, meats and pies.
Two churches also get in on the act. Richmond United Methodist will have its annual Crop & Shop for a Cure, featuring many booths, handmade items and baked goods. The Richmond Baptist Church will showcase its collection of nativities, santas, angels and villages. Baked goods and homemade ornaments will be available for purchase.