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Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014

Downtown merchants setting mood for Christmas

Wednesday, November 7, 2001

(Photo)
Don Debo of the Downtown Merchant Association prepares their Christmas decorations for Friday's "Christmas Open House."
SIKESTON - Think it's too early to think about Christmas?

Not when you consider Dec. 25 is only eight weeks away.

The downtown merchants are setting the mood by inviting the community to take a stroll on candlelit sidewalks, listen to Christmas music, take a carriage ride through historical downtown, get a sneak peek at Santa, have a cup of wassail and take advantage of holiday bargains galore.

It's a Christmas Open House Weekend and everyone is encouraged to come.

The event will begin with carriage rides from 5-8 p.m. and a candlelight walk from 6-9 p.m. Friday.

There will be discounts at various merchants along Front and Center streets and most downtown stores will be open late for shopping convenience, including The Flower Patch Florist, Oliver's, Susie's, Park View Florist, Plantation Silver Co., Carol's Cards & Gifts, Personal Expressions, SEMO Music Center, Bo's Jewelry & Pawn and Falkoffs

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The event will include door prizes and refreshments at selected stores.

On Saturday and Sunday the open house resumes, giving customers more opportunities to take advantage of the unique shopping experience.

Last year was the first time for downtown Sikeston's holiday open house and merchants involved said the event was a complete success.

Carol Holman said she believes it can be attributed to the preparation on the merchants' part and the community's enthusiasm.

"It was great, we were really, really crowded," said Holman of Carol's Cards & Gifts with a smile. "People have been looking forward to it and have been asking when we were going to do it again. We had a lot of participation and a lot of the stores had really pretty windows. It's a lot of work, it takes a good two weeks to get the open house ready, but it's a lot of fun. It's just an old-fashioned Christmas that puts everyone in a good mood and into the Christmas spirit."

Park View Florist, formerly The Flower Basket, will not only celebrate its open house this weekend, but also the store's grand opening.

Cliff Franks said customers can expect a wide variety of items, from candles to holiday centerpieces to ideas for everyday decor.

"We are excited about this weekend," said Franks, who is the floral designer among other titles at the florist. "It's a great honor to be part of the downtown merchants. We want people to come in and see what we have to offer, we have so many things and it's a warm atmosphere.

"This will give everyone a chance to realize that we're here, ready to take care of our customer's needs to the best of our abilities."