The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

December 6, 2013

Changes come to annual Albemarle Downtown Christmas celebration

By B.J. Drye, Editor

Thursday, December 5, 2013 — While there will not be “tales of Christmases long, long ago,” there will be the beginning of what could become a holiday tradition.

It’s time once again for Albemarle Downtown Christmas, but this year’s festivities features two changes — it is happening on a Saturday, not the usual Friday night, and businesses finding a way of helping those in need.

Downtown businesses have selected nonprofit partners to collaborate with during the event. Businesses will display signs with percentages going toward the nonprofit or have donation bins present.

With downtown streets blocked off, street vendors will be set up by 10 a.m., offering food, beverages and crafts.

Entertainment is planned throughout the day, beginning at 10:30 a.m. with the North Stanly High School Marching Comets heading from First Street to the square at Second and Main and play until around 11 a.m.

Mayor Ronnie Michael will offer welcoming remarks at Courthouse Square Park. An invocation and a performance by the Singing Americans is also planned for Courthouse Square Park.

The Gathering, 124 W. Main St., will offer entertainment by Music on Main students and Uwharrie Rising Records.

Melissa Kathleen’s School of Dance will perform at 1 p.m. in the street at First and Main. (The performance will move to the dance studio should rain occur.)

Santa’s Workshop will be from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the lower level of the Stanly County Public Library.

Letters to Santa, sponsored by The Stanly News & Press, will be from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at the SCC Small Business Center.

Vicki Galloway will offer face painting all day at the Alameda Theatre.

City of Albemarle fire and police departments will be posted in the parking lot beside Courthouse Square Park.

All inside activities will continue should rain happen, although the streets will then open to allow shoppers proximity to stores without dampening their day.

Debbie Biggers, owner of Standard Office Equipment, chose to support Stanly Community Christian Ministries (SCCM).

“There are great needs in our community and SCCM is always there to give a hand to those in need,” Biggers said.

“This organization has my deepest respect and is truly a ministry of giving.”

Albemarle Music Store owner Carole Brown also supports SCCM.

Brown’s late husband, Jimmy, was a long time friend of Pastor Hawn, who was a founder of SCCM.  She will collect food products for them.  

She will be open and have the trains running all day on Saturday for the Christmas event.

Vac & Dash owner Peter Asciutto selected the United Way as a partner.

“The United Way of Stanly County is a downtown neighbor of Vac & Dash,” he said.

“They are a good steward of funds and disperse the dollars to various nonprofits throughout Stanly County.”

The Goody Shop owner Hugh Wainwright chose the  Boy Scouts.

Wainwright’s son is a third generation Scout and on target for his Eagle Scout award just like his dad and grandfather. Wainwright believes that the Boy Scouts are a great group to be associated with.  

“They instill core values and good leadership skills for today’s youth,” he said.

The Goody Shop will open specially for this event.

Ever since Dancing with the Stars in 2012 and Gene Starnes participating, the entire store has taken an interest in the causes of The Butterfly House.

Starnes, who plans to make a contribution, will collect donations from all patrons who would like to support the Butterfly House, which assists children who have experienced abuse.

Additional participating businesses and their chosen nonprofit are: Albemarle Printers (SCCM), Burger Bums (Stanly County Humane Society), Computer Visions (VFW Post 2908), Consigning Kids (SCCM), Falling Rivers Gallery (Stanly County Humane Society), GHA Autism Supports (GHA), Glory Beans Coffee House (Crisis Assistance Fund), Hi-Lites (Esther House), Jazzercise (Hospice of Stanly County), Joe Speight State Farm Insurance (Crisis Assistance Fund), Kat’s Meow (SCCM), La T Dah (Boy Scouts of America Troop 191), Music on Main (Talent Company), Off the Square (Esther House), Phillip’s Bridal (Butterfly House), Shops on Depot (Pregnancy Resource Center), Stanly Community College Small Business Center (Stanly Community College), Stanly Ace Hardware (GHA), Top Dollar Pawn and Jewelry (Esther House), Trophy Shop (American Red Cross, Stanly County Chapter).

To submit story ideas, contact B.J. Drye at or (704) 982-2121 ext. 25.