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Holiday season kicks off in Troy

The holiday season will officially be full swing this weekend, as downtown merchants open their doors for holiday shopping.

Local retailers will open for a special holiday open house today through Sunday, when stores will open at 1 p.m.

“Holiday Open House is a nice tradition that has been going on for many years,” said Pike County Chamber of Commerce President Jenniffer Barner. “It is a great way to find out what our local merchants are carrying. Products change all the time, so if you were in a particular store at the end of summer there is always something new to look at.”

Barner said the reason the open house is on this weekend is because it seemed to be the most logical time before things begin to get busy.

Residents can take advantage of the special holiday savings by coming to the local shops.

Barner said participating businesses will have specials as well as refreshments.

“We actually started our sale this week and will continue through Wednesday,” said Debbie Meeks of Family Ties, which has been taking part in the holiday event for the past seven years. “We have specials throughout the store.”

Terra Cotta, has a variety of different sales going on.

“We have anything from 15 to 60 percent off,” said Nancy Harrell.

Local merchants were busy unpacking boxes Thursday, getting ready for weekend.

“We are unpacking boxes,” Meeks said.

“Elf on the shelf continues to be a very popular item. This year they have a new plush toy.”

For those residents looking for Christian-themed merchandise, Meeks said Family Ties has the new Brushfire 2 shirts, which have different Bible verses printed on them.

Meeks said they currently have adult sizes but are expecting a shipment of children sizes.

Ornaments are a big part of Christmas decorating, and both businesses say they have a large supply.

“We have a wide variety of wooden and ceramic Christmas ornament and platters that can be personalized,” Meeks said.

Harrell said Terra Cotta, which has been a part of the event for three years, specializes in ornaments especially for children.

But, Harrell said the main things Terra Cotta has are plants.

“We have many different kinds of topiaries and in different sizes,” Harrell said.

Harrell said the store has a variety of plants ranging from Juniper to Ivy.

Terra Cotta will have a special treat Sunday afternoon, as Santa Claus will be onsite for pictures.

“We will have pictures with Santa from 1 to 5 on Sunday,” Harrell said. “Wendy Ward will be taking them, and we will have packages for $10 and $20.”

For locals who make it a tradition to put up the family Christmas tree after the turkey has settled on Thanksgiving afternoon, Harrell said the store would be open.

“We will have live Christmas trees and will open on Thanksgiving afternoon,” Harrell said.

“It is also a great time to run into old friends that you may not see often,” Barner said.

“It helps bring the spirit of the holidays.”