There’s no place like home for the holidays, and in Summerville a group of volunteers have worked to ensure everyone feels the magic of Christmas.
The group of volunteers is smaller this year due to COVID, but the holiday decorations galore is larger, much larger. ‘The outdoor decorations have indeed grown somewhat this year. Following a wonderful fall decorating season, we took the approach of trying to create as many photo opportunities for families and friends to enjoy outdoors at their own pace,” Main Street Director, Susan Locklear said.
This year, since there were no scheduled public events or Santa Train Excursions at the Depot, the group focused on a magical display outdoors, downtown, rather than inside the depot. Hence, you have the Socially Distanced Santa Meet & Greet display at the Tooga Theater where Santa is scheduled for appearances on December 12,13, 19, and 20th.
The group of dedicated ladies spent the past month donning downtown Summerville in Christmas cheer. “Our volunteers and myself lovingly worked for around four weeks, working 8 hour days to complete this project. It was a labor of love,” Locklear said.
Every bow was handtied, packages were wrapped, trees have been trimmed, 900 pinecones hand dipped, poinsettias hung, Santa’s place was set, and oh, the fluffing…fluffing… fluffing of garland and trees. The ladies even have a drop box for letters to Santa.
The group said they did all of this in hopes of giving holiday cheer to the community. “This year with such hardships, and depression from the pandemic we all need something extra to make us smile and brighten our day. We were determined that COVID would not take away all of our Christmas joy and that we had to find a way to make it special, despite the barriers. Outdoor Christmas decorations are something that everyone can see and enjoy. This project is one thing that can be enjoyed safely by our community and by visitors passing through. We wanted everyone to enjoy the beauty of our little town and see what coming together can accomplish,” Locklear said.
It takes MANY hands to accomplish great things. The group is not an exclusive or private group by any means, in fact, “we welcome those who are available and willing to share their time and talents to make our downtown shine. There are currently 14-16 that are involved with the group. Several that helped last year were unable to help this year due to COVID. We missed them dearly, but look forward to their return following the pandemic.”
“Our entire community is ultimately responsible for this year’s decorations. Main Street volunteers reached out to local individuals and businesses, as well as reaching into their own pockets for donations for this project, with overwhelming generosity from the community, we raised even more money this year for Christmas decor improvements,” Locklear said. Evans Welding constructed and donated the arches.
The hope of the group is to inspire other downtown businesses to decorate their storefront windows to help spread Christmas cheer.
Ways to help:
The group said the work is not yet over and there are many ways to help. They are still accepting monetary donations for more decorations and storage bins. They also welcome any help in taking the decorations down. The decorations for Summerville are currently stored in the loft of a city owned building, to access the ladies have to climb an old, outside staircase and then manage getting 12-foot trees and bins down safely. There is a significant need for a storage building to store the downtown decorations.