• 50°

Joy Almond Column: Downtown Albemarle gears up for busy season

Recently, I’ve noticed several social media comments from motorists who have decided to use downtown streets to detour all of the road construction taking place on the N.C. Highway 24-27 Bypass.

While some might grumble about more traffic to wade through, I say, “welcome!”

JOY ALMOND

I’m thrilled that we have more people passing through our beautiful downtown.

We have so much to see and do, and I hope you all will take a moment to stop and visit the many wonderful shops and restaurants in the neighborhood.

Speaking of things to do, downtown is gearing up for holiday events that I hope everyone will enjoy.

The Fall Festival & Kids Costume Parade will take place on Thursday, Oct. 25, from 5-7 p.m.

We felt the need to start later so that working parents could have more time to get their children costumed and ready to trick-or-treat the downtown businesses.

Also, downtown streets will be closed so that our trick-or-treaters can navigate the downtown streets more safely.

Albemarle Parks and Recreation will host a costume contest at Courthouse Square Park during the evening, and food vendors will be set up nearby.

We hope that, as you enjoy this event, you will remember to shop and support our downtown businesses as the holiday season approaches.

On Friday, Nov. 16, we kickoff the holiday season with An Albemarle Downtown Christmas from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

There is fun to be had for all ages at this event, with horse-drawn carriage rides, an ice sculpture demo, outdoor Christmas movie, food truck alley, live entertainment and, of course, Santa!

Be sure to visit the event website at www.downtownalbemarle.wixsite.com/downtownchristmas for more details.

Small Business Saturday falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving on Nov. 24.

This is a great day to stroll and shop downtown for unique gifts that you can’t find online or in big box stores.

Remember to stop by the ADDC’s Small Business Saturday Welcome Center at Courthouse Square Park to grab a free shopping tote and enter to win a gift basket with lots of great downtown merchandise and gift cards.

The Albemarle Christmas Parade will take place on Saturday, Dec. 8, starting at 10:30 a.m.

Those interested in participating can access parade entry forms on our website at www.albemarledowntown.com — or at Albemarle City Hall’s Customer Service counter, where utility bills are paid.

Keep your fingers crossed for clear weather for this year’s event, and don’t forget to keep warm with a hot beverage from one of our wonderful restaurants or coffee shops.

The day after the parade, the Holiday Tour of Homes takes place.

This ADDC fundraiser gives an inside look at some of the most beautifully decorated homes in Albemarle.

With the mix of fabulous houses, I’m excited to share that the new Central Auditorium will be a stop on the tour.

Be sure to visit the auditorium, as they take you down memory lane with a slideshow of downtown Christmases past.

Tickets will be on sale the first week of November.

Visit the event website at www.downtownalbemarle.wixsite.com/holidaytoh for more info.

Joy Almond is a main street manager for the city of Albemarle and director of Albemarle Downtown Development Corporation. She writes a monthly column about items pertaining to Downtown Albemarle.