Oxford merchants to host open house

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – For shoppers already making plans to launch their Christmas shopping season, one group of merchants promises a “Black Friday” for which shoulder pads and shin guards aren’t necessary.
The Oxford Downtown Council will host its 2012 Holiday Open House on Nov. 23 around the Square, featuring both retail specials and family-friendly activities just as football fans fill the town.
“The Council hopes to build upon the successes of our other events this past year … and offer this wonderful opportunity for shoppers and football fans to experience all that downtown Oxford has to offer,” said Mark Huelse, president of the Oxford Downtown Council and co-owner of Something Southern.
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., kids and adults can pose for Christmas photos with Santa or decorate their own ornaments on the Lafayette County Courthouse lawn. One novel feature will be free horse-drawn carriage rides around the Square from 2 to 6 p.m.
“We strive to add something new and special to the Open House each year,” said Council board member and Nella owner Jeff Johnson. The rides will load in front of Nella, across from City Hall, from 2 to 6 p.m. Carolers will bring seasonal music to the steps of City Hall from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
At 6 o’clock that evening, Mayor Pat Patterson will light the City Hall Christmas tree, followed by “Downtown Dollars” gift certificate drawings totaling $1,000, including a $500 Downtown Dollars grand prize. Free tickets for the drawings can be picked up from member shops and restaurants all week, Monday through Friday, prior to the drawing.
The Oxford Downtown Council strives to support businesses around the historic Oxford Square and to enhance the experience of visitors to downtown. Council members include retailers specializing in books, gifts, stationery, clothing, monogramming, sporting goods, home décor, art, flowers, needlecraft and media.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/oxforddowntowncouncil.
errol.castens@journalinc.com