Nearly 50 shops, restaurants, spas, galleries and other businesses will host Oxford's Holiday Open House as a festive and relaxed alternative to the rush-and-crush atmosphere at some venues. While many downtown Oxford shops will open early, much of the activity is planned from noon to early evening.
"The Council hopes to make this year's Holiday Open House special by offering fun activities that appeal to every family member," said Patsy Engelhard, chair of the Oxford Downtown Council and owner of Knit1 Oxford. "In addition to shopping and dining, there will be a number of opportunities for families to share in festive holiday activities together - many for free."
Several activities will begin at noon, including photos with Santa in the breezeway of Oxford Square North (across from the Chancery Building), a children's Ornament Decoration Station on the Courthouse lawn and music throughout downtown. All afternoon and into the evening, the Oxford Convention and Visitors Bureau will provide coffee and hot chocolate in front of Skipwith Cottage next to City Hall.
One entertaining highlight of the Black Friday afternoon will be Oxford's signature Double Decker bus tours at 1 and 2 p.m. Historian and lifelong Oxonian Jack Lamar Mayfield will narrate the tours.
Oxford will have its first Christmas tree on the Square, to be lit by Mayor Pat Patterson at 6 p.m. in front of City Hall. The lighting will be followed by the Downtown Dollars raffle, hosted by Santa on the steps of City Hall.