• 84°

Families enjoy Downtown Albemarle Christmas

By Imari Scarbrough, for the SNAP

Whether they were visiting for their first time or attend each year, many guests enjoyed the Albemarle Downtown Christmas.

For one mom, it was a special evening with her sons.

“(I’m happy) just to be here with my boys,” Andrica Lilly of Albemarle said. “I’m a mail carrier. I work six days a week, so just to do anything with them, I’m happy.”

It was their first time attending the event.

Andrica’s sons, Kalix, 7, and Kace Sellers, 3, had fun.

Kalix, a second-grade student at Central Elementary School, enjoyed the hayride and visiting with Santa at the town square since he got to deliver an important message: “That I wanted toys for Christmas.”

He also enjoyed visiting the city firefighters, where he and Kace each received a red plastic firefighter helmet.

Kace’s favorite part of the evening was getting a cupcake from the Albemarle Police Department, according to Andrica, or going on the hayride, according to his big brother Kace.

Barrett Morris, 3, chats with Santa at Courthouse Square.

Andrica’s favorite part of the evening was watching her boys play in the fake snow.

“I couldn’t keep Kace out of it,” she said.

Melissa Barringer, also of Albemarle, goes to the event each year. She attended with a large group that included her three daughters — Mackenzie, 15, Kaylee, 13, and Hannah, 12, as well as other family members and friends.

Kaylee had fun on the hayride. Melissa said her family has attended since about 2008, with her daughters participating in a variety of age-appropriate activities as they have grown up.

“We still enjoy it,” Melissa said. “The ice sculpture is something they’re more interested in… It’s become a family tradition.”

Barrett Morris, 3, of Albemarle, liked visiting with Santa, but was particularly enchanted with the candy cane he received from Saint Nick.

“He gave me a candy,” Barrett said. His older brothers, Braxton, 9 and Bryer, 5, also had fun. Bryer loved the hayride.

“My favorite was ringing the fire bell and the ice sculpture and that (Chick-fil-a) cow,” Braxton added.

“We like to come out as a family,” Crystal Morris, the boys’ mom, said. “It’s good family time. There’s something for everyone, between the shops being open and all the different things for the kids to do, with the fire truck and hayride. We all enjoy coming.”

Many downtown businesses were open, with several giving away treats and warm drinks. Santa greeted children at the town square and the historic Snuggs House welcomed guests to view its period décor. The library and other organizations also provided activities for children. Face painting, a beer garden, vendors, a live ice sculpting demonstration, music and more were also available.

Imari Scarbrough is a freelance contributor for The Stanly News and Press.