Despite inclement weather, a decent crowd came out in support of the Olde Fashioned Christmas in downtown London Monday evening.
This was the first year for the annual event to be presented under the new leadership of the Downtown London Association (DLA), according to the group’s president, Wendy Starr. The DLA is a 501 (c)(3) organization. It incorporated and received its nonprofit status in the later half of 2017 after splitting from its parent group, London Community Organization.
While the numbers of people on the streets were visibly down from last year, sales were up — at least for some. “Sales were 25 percent higher than last year,” said Melinda Peters Elliott, owner of Fine Designs & Interiors and DLA board member.
Caroling, cocoa and cookies were some of the festive treats enjoyed visitors to the downtown area.
The holiday celebrations kicked off with a costumed pet parade starting in front of the State Theater and judged by Dr. J.J. Coate of Sunnyside Veterinary Clinic. Top honor went to Randy, a Labrador retriever mix owned by Stacie Herald. Following the pet parade, a larger parade featuring everyone’s favorite red elf, Santa Claus himself, promenaded down North Main Street starting at Cowling Park.
As is custom, many local downtown businesses, service organizations, and churches were open later hours for residents to shop and spread yuletide cheer through colorful decorations and lighting and a variety of fun crafts and activities. Of these, some of the most popular were visiting Santa and his reindeer outside of McDonald’s, and the horse-drawn wagon rides traversing North and South Main Streets sponsored by Madison Health and BST.