Business alliance plans downtown holiday fest
Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

Oct. 20, 2005 -- Events ranging from bed races to carriage rides to a Taste of Sulphur Springs will open the holiday season around the square on Saturday, Nov. 26, as the Downtown Business Alliance produces its first annual Holiday Festival, according to association President Jennifer Allison.

�We are going to start out with what we can do, which I think is a lot for a brand new organization,� she said. � We are going to do some fun things, interesting things, and things for the children.�

To start off the activities, a downtown street will be closed off and converted into a high-speed race track where daring groups and individuals will test their mettle in a race that will pit single and double beds, along with, perhaps, a high-performance four-poster bed in the first downtown bed races.

�We�ve got interest from some groups that would like to enter,� Allison said. �Already, we have at least five groups right now, and all we have done is make a few phone calls.�

Following the bed races, an auto display is planned to give antique and classic car owners the opportunity to share their special cars with other car enthusiasts.

A Christmas Village, primarily for children, will feature booths with special themes at the businesses in the downtown area. Allison said her booth will be a gingerbread house.

�I will give out gingerbread cookies to all the children that come to visit the gingerbread house,� she said. �It�s almost like trick or treating, but with a Christmas theme and [children] go to each booth and get different things.�

Participation in the Christmas Village, Allison said, is not limited to downtown businesses, and others are encouraged to take part in the festival.

Another highlight of the festival will be the “Taste of Sulphur Springs,” and all area restaurants, grocery stores, food suppliers and individuals are invited to share their favorite holiday foods.

�They would give out samples of whatever they choose, chopped into little bite-sized pieces and given out when people come in a store to get a �Taste of Sulphur Springs,�� Allison said. �They will visit the stores to get that taste of Sulphur Springs.�

The festival will culminate with the lighting of a Christmas tree on the square and Christmas decorations in the downtown area.

Organizers say help is needed in getting holiday lights and decorations. Anyone interested in working on the project should contact Jennifer Allison.

The association hopes to bring people to the downtown area to spur business and interest in the historic area and provide an opportunity for people to learn more about downtown and the businesses there.

The alliance is planning to have a second festival in the downtown area next summer, with a goal of two major events each year.

The Downtown Business Alliance meets at 8:30 a.m. each Friday at Plain & Fancy Sandwich Shoppe on the south side of the square.

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