BOWLING GREEN—Santa Claus came to town and kicked off the holiday season last Friday. Beginning at dusk, the air was crisp and downtown Bowling Green was celebrating with lights, shopping and other activities, such as the “Living Windows” displays in participating businesses.
Billed as The Holly Jolly Festival, the event is hosted by the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce and participants were the bundled up residents.
Christmas in the Green, Bowling Green’s annual event that is always held the weekend prior to Thanksgiving, was in full bloom (see the story on this page). The Holly Jolly Festival included the annual lighting ceremony and was accompanied by the Bowling Green High School choir and band. Participating businesses involved with Christmas in the Green, were located all over Bowling Green and expanded to the outskirts of town and required a map to track locations and bargains from store to store, unless you were one of the locals and know the side streets. Looking for the green flags and signs made it a holiday treasure hunt.
Sharing a cup of good cheer, Christmas music, holiday goodies like snacks, candy, cocoa and teas were offered. I, myself, was in search of s’mores. Unique items that are on display year round were offered with some special event pricing at the most charming shops that made this popular event even more worthwhile and rounded out a festive evening.
Santa set up shop in the old theatre lot where Old-fashioned Christmas magic met a festive block party and had a long line to visit the jolly guy in his special little holiday house as the chilly night went by. Nothing captures the spirit of the holidays quite like going to stores packed with holiday items from wall-to-wall and discovering an array of holiday goodies, good cheer and good deals, with friendly and welcoming business owners and friends.
The atmosphere was like a holiday open house all around town. Finding that special holiday gift was a bit trickier than finding the Christmas spirit, which was evident everywhere you looked.
First Place for the living windows contest went to Pike County Health Department Home Health & Hospice for their “Jack in the Box.”
“The Living Windows contest was not as well participated in as the last couple years have been,” said Tracy Brookshier. “PCHD is the only one that had any votes in their box at all and they donated the cash prize back to the group.
“Over all we think it went over great!” she added. “We had a lot in attendance, the line for Santa was pretty steady and everyone in line was able to see him before he had to get back to the north pole.”
This year a letters to Santa station was added. “And it went over well, too. The BG schools bands and choir did an amazing job, and Rob Brown donated his DJ Services to keep the Christmas tunes going throughout the evening.”
The Chamber of Commerce said it was extremely thankful for all those who attended and volunteered their time and services; such as Bouquet Florist, The Henny Penny and the Pike County Health Department Home Health & Hospice for their decorations, to Silver Lake Pines for donating a live Christmas tree for that was raffled off, as well as two to use for décor. Brookshier also wanted to thank the Bowling Green Rotary club “for their yummy cookies and cocoa inside the courthouse annex. We sold a good amount of chili too! We will be working on fixing up the Santa House even more for next year, and because we didn’t have a big tree in time to have an official lighting ceremony, we are already in the works for making sure we have something BIG for next year’s festival!
“I am so thankful for all those who helped and I had a blast organizing this year’s event. I am so honored to be a part of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce’s efforts to see our town thrive!” Brookshier said.