Christmas comes early for downtown Elizabethton merchants, shoppers
Published 10:38 am Monday, November 10, 2014
Even though it is just mid-November, Christmas was on the minds of merchants and shoppers in downtown Elizabethton Sunday.
With many shops opening their doors for the Downtown Buisness Association’s Christmas Open House, shoppers hopped from store to store looking for deals. Hampton resident Linda Hilmon said she always attends the event and frequents downtown year-around.
“I feel it is important to support our local businesses,” she said. “You can always count on friendly service at the smaller stores.”
Elizabethton local Carleen Norton said that she travels to a lot different towns to shop but downtown Elizabethton is her favorite shopping destination, especially during the holidays.
“It is the most unique town to go through,” she said.
Like Norton, Kathy Laughters of Elizabethton said she loves the open house and attends every year to hunt for antiques.
“We love antique shopping,” she said. “And during the open house. you will probably run into a friend or two. You also never know what surprises and treasures you may find.”
The DBA held its event a week earlier than usual in an attempt to beat the Black Friday rush.
Dwayne Ward and Daryl Hinkle, owners of the Duck Landing Antique Mall, said turnout was good this year but they wished there were more holiday decorations outside during the event.
“You would think there would be more Christmas decorations, since it is a Christmas Open House,” Ward said. “It would help if we had more backing from the city Chamber (of Commerce). Ward and Hinkle were not the only ones disappointed, Alyssa Perez, manager of the Betsytown Mechantile, said she also felt the atmosphere would have benefited from more ornamentation.
For the Betsytown Mechantile, which has been open for just a year, this was its first time taking part in the open house, and Perez said thing were going great.
“It has been really good,” she said. “We have had a lot of customers come through.”
Shoppers Lynn and Sandra Taylor said the lack of holiday decorations outside did not bother them.
“There are plenty of decorations in the stores,” Lynn Taylor said.
The Taylors said also that they enjoyed the wide arrange of food many the of the businesses were offering.
“They have some wonderful refreshments,” Lynn Taylor said.
Like the Taylors, Jennie Kodak, owner of Johnny and June’s, said she was fine with the lack of decorations and said her store was still having a great turnout.
“We have had a lot of customers that we normally would not have,” she said. “I feel like we are getting really good exposure.”
Many of the stores like the Lingerfelt Drug Store, whose store manager, Sandy Blanton, serenaded shoppers as they enter the building, had live Christmas music to entertain their patrons.
“Honey, we sing with our customers,” Blanton said with a laugh. “We dance with them as well.”
Owners of Picket Fence Antiques, John and Kathy Brookshire, said some years the event goes well, but some years it doesn’t.
“But, this year it looks like the turnout is going to be good,” John Brookshire said.