Historic Downtown Sikeston’s Holiday Open House begins Friday
SIKESTON — Colder weather, shorter days — and open houses — are all signs of the arrival of the holiday shopping season.
Historic Downtown Sikeston’s Holiday Open House will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday when there will be store specials and refreshments both days. Some merchants will also be open on Sunday.
On Friday evening only, from 5 to 8 p.m., there will be carriage rides and children will be able to visit with Santa Claus.
“It’s pretty much our biggest event of the year. Everybody is hustling and bustling at the last minute to get their Christmas trees up and everything straightened for the open house,” said Leigh Anne Reyes, owner of Leigh Anne’s Loft on Center Street.
Reyes said many of the merchants have been staying late hours this week to put up their Christmas decorations and prepare for this weekend’s big shopping event.
“We look forward to this time of the year and it’s a good experience we can give back to our customers,” Loft said. “There are so many different downtown events to help you in the spirit of Christmas.”
Leigh Anne’s Loft will once again give children the opportunity to meet Princess Jasmine and write letters to Santa from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday .
“We decided to have Jasmine visit this year since the new Aladdin movie came out,” Reyes said, adding parents are welcome to take their children’s picture with Jasmine.
Starting at 6 p.m. Friday, Anchor Church on Front Street will perform readings of “The Night Before Christmas.” Readings with a new group will begin every 15 minutes. There will be a photographer taking pictures, milk and cookies for all guests and a small gift for children to take home.
In addition, Sikeston Board of Municipal Utilities will present a “Holiday Light Show “from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The show will shut back down until the Friday after Thanksgiving, and will run the same time schedule daily through New Year’s Eve.
Doug Shaw with Sikeston BMU said the light show, which includes two, alternating song lineups, started in 2010.
“We’ve had a lot of good comments about the display and light show over the years,” Shaw said. “It was very popular right at first because it was so new. People have gotten used to it. We still have a pretty steady stream of people coming and parking in the BMU parking lot or across the street and watching from the park.”
Spectators can listen to the music played by BMU, or they can tune their vehicles to 105.7 FM while watching the show, he said.
“If the weather is good, just open the car windows and listen live,” Shaw said.
As the holiday season gets underway, other events are planned in Historic Downtown Sikeston. Small Business Saturday is Nov. 30, which is the Saturday after Thanksgiving when shoppers are encouraged to “shop local.”
Then, on Dec. 6 will be the second annual “Dashing through Downtown” parade of lights and tree-lighting ceremony, which will begin at 5 p.m. at Legion Park. There will be a Santa’s village, candy cane hunt, hot chocolate, carriage rides, store specials, photos with Santa, food trucks and a Christmas concert. The parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. Sikeston Depot Museum will host its Santa in Wonderland on Dec. 7.
Holiday shopping is also taking place elsewhere in the region.
The New Madrid Christmas Open House is set for 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday various merchants and also at Higgerson Landing and the New Madrid Historical Museum. Christina McWaters, executive director of the New Madrid Chamber of Commerce, noted the annual Christmas Candlelight Tours will be from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 13-14. Free tours of the Hunter-Dawson Historic Site, Higgerson School and New Madrid Historical Museum will be given during those hours, she said.
Then on Dec. 14, there will be a Christmas parade at 3 p.m. followed by Santa’s Village until 6 p.m., McWaters said.
“Downtown business will have free activities and treats for the kids,” she said.
East Prairie merchants are also getting into the spirit this weekend. A one-day open house is planned from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday in downtown East Prairie. Some businesses will also be open Saturday for some holiday shopping.
Downtown Charleston merchants kicked off their holiday shopping season with extended their hours for an open house on Nov. 2-3.