The Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce announces their annual Mount Olive Christmas Open House Celebration. The event will be held on Friday, December 4th from 6-8 p.m. in downtown Mount Olive. All activities will take place along Center Street.
This year, the set up will be different due to the pandemic. “We organized the celebration with four stations to allow for social distancing and keeping our citizens safe,” stated Julie Beck, President of the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce. All participants are encouraged to wear masks and can visit the stations in any order, depending on what activity they want to engage in. Some activities will occur at designated times as listed below but many will occur throughout the two-hour time of the event. The open house is the kickoff to the community Christmas celebrations which also includes the Christmas Parade that will be held on Saturday, December 5th at 10 a.m.
Kicking off Mount Olive’s holiday celebration at 6 p.m., near Southern Bank’s drive-thru, will be a welcome by Mayor Ken Talton and Mount Olive Chamber President Julie Beck. Then, dancers from Mrs. Robin’s Academy of Dance and the Arts Council of Faison will entertain the crowd. The dancers, who have been a part of Mount Olive’s Christmas event for many years, will perform a variety of dances including the “Penguin Cha Cha” and delight those who attend the Christmas open house celebration.
At approximately 6:30 p.m., Mayor Ken Talton will light up a Christmas tree at the new Christmas Corner, at the intersection of N. Center & Main Street. At the Christmas Corner, participants will have an opportunity to take a photograph standing near Santa Claus & other costumed characters (penguin, Christmas tree, & snowman). In addition, children may write letters to Santa and place them in his North Pole mailbox. Santa will write back to all who leave a letter by the December 15th deadline. Santa’s elves will distribute candy canes to all children ages 12 and under.
The Christmas Corner, located in the new Southern Bank pocket park, will include Santa Claus’s house and mailbox, a Christmas tree and other Christmas decorations. The corner will be decorated in mid-November and remain in place until early January. The Christmas Corner will allow people to enjoy the festive scene at different times throughout November & December. “The idea is to create a festive Christmas scene where families and individuals can stop by anytime during the six weeks it is on display, take photographs, and post them to social media using #makeitmountolive,” said Beck.
Another station will be outside of the Mount Olive Chamber office where participants can purchase concessions and enjoy a Pickle Train ride. Food available for purchase includes popcorn, pickles, doughnuts, hot cocoa, canned drinks, and pickle popcorn. All food items are $1.00 except the large bags of pickle popcorn that will cost $5.00. Cash payment only. In addition, the Friends of the Parks will offer free rides on their Pickle Train. The pickle train will be sprayed down between each ride.
The fourth station will be in front of the UMO downtown facility where community members can donate items to the All the Kings Children Foundation (AtKC) and Welfare of Our Furry Friends (WOOFF). The goal is to fill (4) four-foot stockings full of items that will be dispersed to those in need. The All the Kings
Children Foundation (AtKC) is looking for hats, gloves, reusable masks, and Piggly Wiggly gift cards. The Welfare of Our Furry Friends (WOOFF) is looking for dog & cat food, bedding, and litter boxes to be used by those that take in strays. 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone and the Mount Olive Chamber wanted to create an initiative to give back to our community. By collecting & donating items to AtKC and WOOF, we can show support for two local organizations,” stated Beck. All participants who donate five or more items will have their name entered into a drawing to win a $50 gift card from Especially for You. Members of the University of Mount Olive Baseball Team will assist AtKC & WOOF in the collection of items.
“The Mount Olive Christmas Open House/Light Up Mount Olive was organized to operate in a safe and socially distanced manner where positive vibes and Christmas cheer can be shared with our community,” voiced Julie Beck.
For more information about the Mount Olive Christmas Open House/Light Up Mount Olive, contact the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce at 919-658-3113 or send an email to [email protected].