The weather was unseasonably warm Saturday, as a crowd of people collected around the streets of downtown Rockingham for the annual Christmas on the Square celebration.
This is the 16th year local vendors, churches, and other organizations have come together to celebrate the winter holiday with the community in Harrington Square. The sunshine was greatly welcomed by the mass of people and children enjoying the fresh air and activities.
“It doesn’t really feel like Christmas with the weather today,” said Jackie Jones of Laurinburg. Jones said she has been coming for three years to see the latest crafts.
The holiday-themed event is sponsored each year by the Rockingham Downtown Corp. and the City of Rockingham.
The city teamed up with the Richmond County Chapter of Toys for Tots to accept donations at Harrington Square. Murphy Chiropractic and Wellness of Rockingham successfully encouraged the Toy for Tots concept by offering 30-minute massages with the donation of a toy, in addition to a $10 charge. Vendors were also asked to bring a toy to donate. Flowers from Betty’s Barn in Asheboro had a tent set up for the third year, and decorated its booth with a colorful array of Christmas arrangements.
“I’ve always done very well and had good success with the event,” said owner Betty Bruton.
The holiday event had lots to offer everyone. Main attractions included vendors with home décor, handmade Christmas crafts and jewelry for women. Knives and classic cars caught the eyes of men while the smell of blooming onions, collard sandwiches and sausage dogs caught the noses of all. There was also a wide variety of desserts and baked goods to indulge in.
“I like the various crafts and foods of course,” said Wanda Land of Laurinburg. “This is my third year coming.”
Santa Claus participated in the day’s festivities, visiting and posing with the children for pictures. Parents enjoyed the opportunity to let their children burn energy in the Kid’s Zone as well. The Kid’s Zone included the popular Super Slide, Castle Jump and a train. Pony rides and a petting zoo were provided by 5 Star Farm of North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
“This is our first year at this event,” said Robert Slate of 5 Star Farm. “I’m very happy with the turn-out — hopefully we can come back next year with a camel.”
Entertainment came in the form of performances by the Richmond Senior High Chorus, Mt. Sinai Praise Team, Roberdel Praise Team, the Hamlet Middle School Honor Choir and Rene’s Step To It.
“It’s just a fun and inexpensive thing to do with the whole family,” said Christy Robson of Hamlet.
— Staff Writer Cassidy Odom can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 16, or by email at email@example.com.