Bringing the holidays to Main
Holiday Open House held Saturday in Marshall
MARSHALL — Marshall area residents and businesses brought a little bit of the North Pole to Main Street on Saturday afternoon. A Christmas tree stood at the center of Terrace 1872 outside City Hall, and children were waiting in line to meet Santa Claus.
The Downtown Holiday Open House was a way to encourage people to visit local businesses, as well as fundraising for charity, said Desiree Petrich, events coordinator for the Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re hoping that people will be downtown, and let those dollars stay local,” she said. “And it’s a lot of fun.”
The days after Thanksgiving are often thought of as the kickoff for the holiday shopping season. Businesses in many area communities, including Marshall, held “Small Business Saturday” events to encourage people to shop local.
Petrich said Saturday marked the second year that Marshall has held a downtown open house event.
“This year, we had a lot more opportunity to plan,” she said. Businesspeople and local organizations came together to contribute to the event, and organizers planned on about 300 children visiting the open house.
Businesses like 405 Loft and Ace Home and Hardware helped contribute to the décor at the terrace, Petrich said. And in addition to meeting Santa, kids could also meet the Nutcracker from the Prairie Dance Alliance’s upcoming performance of the ballet, and pet some festively dressed llamas and alpacas from the 4-H llama project.
Mary Beth Sinclair said she had thought about how to create Christmas-themed costumes for the llamas for a while. Sweaters would be too difficult to put on the animals, so instead she used Christmas tree skirts to make capes.
Mallory Evans said it was fun to get to bring the llamas to the open house.
“A lot of people don’t get to see these types of animals often,” she said.
The open house also offered a chance for people to support an area charity. On Saturday, the event collected donations for With Angel Wings, an area organization that provides support for families experiencing grief related to infant and pregnancy loss, sudden death and medical conditions.