Aberdeen hosts a weekend of holiday festivities

By Ray Van Dusen/Monroe Journal

ABERDEEN – Just as Monroe County Chamber of Commerce Director of Chamber Affairs Kathy Lusby mentioned in conversation, the white lights, decorations and the Christmas music echoing through the downtown canopies provide a hint of magic for the season.

“If people think they liked Aberdeen before, they’ll love it dressed up for the holidays. With everything we’ll have going on, it’s the perfect opportunity for out of town people to see what we’ve got and for locals to enjoy what they already have,” said Tina Robbins, director of the Aberdeen Visitor Bureau.

To further ignite that spark of magic, the town is playing host to several events to push the season this weekend.

“The idea came from the thought from years ago for a countywide shopping weekend. Since Amory has its holiday open house planned for this weekend, it accompanies everything going there,” Lusby said.

The festivities begin Saturday with two performances by Fulton native, David Leathers, at the Elkin Theater. Since Leathers graduated valedictorian from a Pennsylvania culinary school, he’s gone on to perform his unique style of fruit and vegetable carving around the world.

His originality led to several television appearances including TLC’s Extreme Food; the launch of his Food Stylin company; and a level of entrepreneurship as he has his own line of knives and kitchen tools, T-shirts and instructional DVDs.

Leathers is currently working on the production of his PBS show “I Play With Food,” catered toward cooking with kids.

His performances at the Elkin Theatre will include a 10 a.m. show about holiday entertaining and one at 2 p.m. called “I Play With My Food,” which is a spinoff of the PBS show.

“Part of it is interactive and it’s catered towards encouraging children to learn things in the kitchen. We’re really fortunate to have David Leathers here in Aberdeen and his performances will be great affordable entertainment for everybody,” Lusby said.

Adult tickets for one show are $10 and $15 for both shows. Children’s tickets are $5 to each show. Profits go to the Elkin Theatre for the purchase of new digital equipment.

Another fundraiser for the theater will be Sunday’s 2 p.m. performance of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” The play, directed by Kathy Box, has been performed locally in 1995 and 2001. Tickets for the play will be available the day of the play at the Elkin.

On Sunday, from 3 until 6 p.m., three Aberdeen homes will open their doors for visitors to view different styles of Christmas decorations.

Sandi Ervin’s home in Woodland Heights features a collection of Christmas houses and villages along with other holiday dampécor. Three Goats Cottage on Jefferson Street will display vintage decorations, some of which belonged to the home’s former owner, Reece Lou Thompson. The Virginia Sykes home, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Lee Turnage, on High Street will display Christmas in true Victorian style.

Following the Aberdeen Holiday Home Tours, hor d’oeuvres will be served at the Cottage Tea Room.

Tickets for the home tour are $20 and are available at the Aberdeen office of the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce, the Aberdeen Visitors Bureau, Aberdeen Flowers and Gifts and the Cottage Tea Room. In addition to the visitors bureau and the chamber, the Aberdeen Pilgrimage Association is sponsoring this event as a fundraiser for its cause.

“It’s going to be a busy week and we’re encouraging everyone to light up their houses if only by putting a wreath on the front door and turning on the porch light,” Lusby said.

The downtown merchants will also be open and hosting sales to commemorate the weekend’s activities. The festivities also carries on with the efforts of supporting hometown shopping. For more information, call 369-6488 or 369-9440.