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Holiday Open House to kick off Christmas season

Instead of spending the first official day of the Christmas season inside busy, cramped chain stores, the Oxford Square Alliance is inviting everyone to the Square for a fun day of crafts, carriage rides, pictures with Santa himself and of course, some great shopping at local stores.

A long-standing tradition for the Downtown Council, the Open House features a host of family-friendly activities and events to usher in the holiday season.

“We are really excited to be able to present the Holiday Open House again this year,” says Mark Huelse, president of the Oxford Square Alliance and co-owner of Something Southern. “The Egg Bowl will be the following day, so we are encouraging people to come early and enjoy the festivities.”

Pictures with Santa

The Open House will feature a free digital photo shoot with Santa from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with holiday art activities including an ornament decoration station and a booth to create holiday postcards. Horse-drawn carriage rides around the Square will begin at 2 p.m. and last until 6 p.m.

Carolers from Oxford Civic Course will perform in front of City Hall from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

When Santa arrives to the Square, he will land his sleigh on the lawn of the Lafayette County Courthouse where residents young, old and in between can sit and take photos. The alliance is encouraging people to post the photos using the hashtag #SquareSleigh when posting on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.

“The Holiday Open House has proven year after year to be a special tradition for the citizens of Oxford and for those who are visiting as well,” said Will Hunt, CEO of William G. Hunt & Associates marketing firm. “We hope that day’s activities and festive atmosphere will create the perfect backdrop for holiday memories to be made here on the Oxford Square.”

Christmas tree lighting

The annual Christmas tree lighting in front of City Hall will be at 6 p.m. Immediately following there will be a Square Dollars raffle with $1,000 worth of gift certificates being awarded. Shoppers earn raffle tickets while shopping in the stores around the Square on Friday. You must be present at the drawing to win.

Have someone on your list who is hard to buy for? Square Dollars can also be purchased, like gift certificates, which can be used at any of the retail shops and restaurants that are members of the Oxford Square Alliance. Square Dollars can be purchased at Visit Oxford on the Square.

For more information on the Holiday Open House, visit the Oxford Square Alliance on Facebook.