Main Street DeKalb kicks off Hollydays celebration

By Nina Gougis

The streets of downtown DeKalb looked more like the set of a classic holiday movie Saturday as Main Street DeKalb kicked off its six-week Hollydays celebration.

The “Shopping Like it Used to Be”-themed weekend featured a series of open houses and sales at local stores.

DeKalb residents crowded local stores, eating free homemade goodies, drinking hot apple cider and starting on their Christmas shopping.

Cheerful sales clerks, excited for the holiday rush, filled trays with homemade cookies and candies.

Meanwhile, almost 30 people gathered outside the National Bank and Trust Company, 155 N. Third St. drinking hot chocolate and eating popcorn while waiting for the free horse-drawn carriage rides around the downtown area.

DeKalb resident Sue Manlove waited with a camera in hand outside the bank with her 4-year-old granddaughter Kylie for a carriage ride.

“I thought this would be perfect for us to do together,” Manlove said.

As part of the event, Cracker Jax, 118 N. Third St., offered 20 percent off all merchandise and supplied free chocolates to celebrate the event and the store’s 20th anniversary.

Owner Lauren Woods said the Hollydays celebration helped bring a lot of business to the store.

“It helps bring a lot of business because it makes it more interesting for people to come downtown,” Woods said.

Megan Morrison Home and Garden, 237 E. Lincoln Highway, offered customers 10 percent off all merchandise and offered free food. Owner Megan Morrison said giving a little extra attention can make a world of difference.

“People appreciate that personal feel,” Morrison said. “You don’t get that at the mall.”

As part of the six-week Hollydays weekend event, National Bank and Trust will offer free gift wrapping from 9 a.m. to noon and free carriage rides from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday, excluding Thanksgiving weekend, until Dec. 18, the last weekend of the event.

The rest of the event will feature breakfast with Santa, Christmas tree decorating at local schools, caroling music at the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St. and discounts at local stores throughout December.

For more information on participating or volunteering in Hollydays events, visit Main Street DeKalb at 164 E. Lincoln Highway or call at 748-7788.