Decatur kicks off holiday season

 Eight-month-old Byrne Culpepper reacts to seeing Santa for the first time.

Santa Claus decided to take a break from his busy schedule at the North Pole and visit children in Decatur for the city’s kickoff event to celebrate the gift-giving season.

Decatur officials were on hand Nov. 25 as a part of the city’s shop small business Saturday initiative.

Catherine Lee, Decatur economic development coordinator, said shopping locally helps the entire Decatur community.

“The bread and butter of Decatur’s retail scene are the local shops. That’s what makes Decatur a shopping and dining destination because we have all this variety,” Lee said. “It’s a big deal to support locally.”

Lee said for every $100 spent in Decatur, approximately $64 stays within the local community as opposed to $48 if the money is spent at a major chain store or business.

“When you support local stores, they support you,” Lee said.

During the event, participants were able to get items gift-wrapped free of charge if the gifts were purchased from a local store. Decatur also provided cookies, hot chocolate and of course photos with Saint Nick for children—and some adults.

Ellen and Sam Culpepper, accompanied by their 8-month-old son Byrne, said the small, community-centered events are what makes Decatur an enjoyable place to live.

“We lived somewhere else, but we had to move back,” Ellen said. “I think these events are wonderful. We’ve loved Decatur for ages and we really think it’s such a vibrant community with special events all year-round. This is the first chance we’ve had to take advantage of some of the family-oriented events.”

Lee said every Thursday until Dec. 25 local stores will stay open late and offer special deals as part of the city’s Terrific Thursdays holiday initiative. Dec. 8, Decatur will host a movie night on West Ponce de Leon Avenue and feature movies such as Frosty the Snowman and White Christmas. On Dec. 14, Decatur will host a bonfire on the Decatur square and a menorah lighting Dec. 18.

“Decatur has a lot of events we enjoy like beer festivals and wine festivals,” Sam said, laughing. “But now that we’re parents we can enjoy some of the other events. It’s nice to see all the families come out and Decatur has such an emphasis on family.”

Atlanta resident Nick Wisdom said he enjoyed bringing his family out to meet Santa during the small business Saturday event.

“We love coming to this little area of town. [My kids] like to ride the MARTA train and there are great restaurants. We love coming here. It’s a good place to play and eat and shop,” Wisdom said.  

811 total views, 1 views today

Facebook Comments

Leave a Comment - Comments may take up to 48 hours to appear