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Downtown ready for open house

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Downtown Troy.

The annual Downtown Troy Christmas Open House takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

“I think everybody is ready and excited to kick off the holiday season,” said Leigh Anne Windham, special projects coordinator for the City of Troy. “Coming down here for the open houses isn’t just about shopping .”

Indeed, the more than 30-year-old tradition has long signaled the official start of the holiday season for the area. And spending a morning or afternoon walking around the Square, visiting with friends, and of course, shopping, is something many people anticipate.

“For so many people in the community, it’s a tradition,” said Mallory Morgan, who co-owns Confetti Crate with her sister, Marley Park. “It’s moms and daughters, friends, coming downtown.”

Morgan said preparations for this weekend began in October. “It’s one of our favorite weekends of the year,” she said, adding that they look forward to “brightening the day with some sparkle and Christmas.”

And while bright colors, plenty of sparkle and a festive playlist are always on tap for the open house, Morgan said they’ve taken extra precautions this year to accommodate shoppers.

“We’ve got an open layout right now that we think gives people plenty of room to browse and shop,” she said. “Hopefully everybody feels comfortable coming out and shopping.”

Windham said hosting the annual open house event is particularly important this year, as retailers and the community have experienced so many changes because of COIVD-19.

“This is good for the retailers,” she said. “It will give them a boost because they have had an unusual year .”

Barbara Ward, owner of Rustic Linen, said she closed her shop for three days to decorate for the Christmas open house, and she’s anticipating big crowds because many people may not be comfortable shopping in big cities. Instead, they’ll come to places like Troy.

Windham said she’s heard from dozens of residents who are eager to return to embrace the holiday tradition and opportunity to fellowship with friends and neighbors during the open house. “But we know some people may still be cautious,” she said. “And for those folks, the downtown retailers will continue to accommodate them. Most people are still offering curbside pickup and selling through their websites and social media sites.”

For residents who do choose to come out to the Open House, plenty of fun and opportunities await.

“We have a $500 Downtown Dollar giveaway again this year,” Windham said, explaining that shoppers need only make purchase at three different locations to enter into the drawing.

“And, of course, we’ll have Santa on the Square for pictures,” she said. Santa will be available from 1 to 4 p.m. each day.

The First Baptist Church Puppet Team will offer two shows on Sunday, and a new Christmas Arts & Crafts project will be offered for children on Sunday.

“I’m really excited about the Christmas Arts and Craft project,” Windham said. “Jensen Garrett will be working with the children.

“We have two sessions available, and space is still available in both sessions.”

While the craft sessions are free, Windham said reservations are encouraged to ensure enough materials are available. For more information, call 334-674-2468.