Mount Olive announces schedule for town's holiday events
By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on November 23, 2010 1:46 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- The town of Mount Olive will celebrate the season with a weekend of holiday activities and many other Christmas events in the coming weeks.
The eighth annual Mount Olive Holiday Open House, presented by the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the town, is set for Dec. 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. in downtown Mount Olive.
The open house, a longstanding tradition in Mount Olive, will bring up the lights on the town Christmas tree with the help of special guest Santa Claus. The tree lighting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. during the open house.
Many businesses downtown will open their doors after hours and offer special deals, door prizes and other promotions, to help shoppers get a jump start on their holiday gifting.
Music, snacks and activities for children will also be on hand. Kids can enter a drawing for a chance to serve as the Junior Grand Marshal for the town's Christmas parade, which will be held the following day. The winner will get the chance to ride with Santa in the parade, along with this year's Grand Marshal, Mt. Olive Pickle Co. mascot Ollie Q. Cumber.
Children are also invited to bring a Christmas wish letter to send to the North Pole, courtesy of the Mount Olive Jaycees, and visit with Santa after the tree lighting ceremony. More activities for children and adults will be hosted at the historic David J. Aaron Museum.
The holiday weekend continues in Mount Olive the following day with the annual Christmas parade.
The theme for the Mount Olive Christmas parade this year is "It's Christmas Time in the City." The parade is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 4.
Fees to enter the parade are $30 for vehicles and homemade floats, $30 for motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, golf carts and bicycles, $25 for horse groups and $10 for walking groups. There is no charge for emergency vehicles. Entries received now will be charged a $50 late fee, but forms are available at the chamber office.
The Steele Memorial Library will be a part of the parade this year, librarian Sharon Michie said.
"The library is participating in the parade this year. We've got a walking group, and we're asking patrons to join us to walk," she said.
All ages are welcome, but children must be accompanied by an adult. The theme is "Season's Readings," and participants are welcome to dress up for the parade.
"If they would like to dress up, either as a book, as a character from a book, or just come and carry a book, that's just what we're asking people," Ms. Michie said.
The night before the holiday open house, Mount Olive College will host the annual Christmas by Candlelight service beginning at 7 p.m.
The event set for Thursday, Dec. 2, is a Christian service based on the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, a program developed in Cambridge, England at the turn of the 19th century. The service features nine traditional Bible scripture lessons with each reading followed by a Christmas carol, tracing the Christmas story from the book of Genesis to the gospels.
The Mount Olive College Chamber Choir, Free Spirit, the Mount Olive College Concert Choir and Mount Olive College Symphonic Band will provide the music at Christmas by Candlelight.
The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available for free on the college campus.
Additionally, the Children of the Wilderness, together with the Mount Olive First Pentecostal Holiness Church, will present its 2010 Christmas program with free toys, live music and refreshments to registered participants.
The Christmas program will be Saturday, Dec. 18, from 5-8 p.m. at the church on Ed Edmundson Road.
To participate in the event, families must register by contacting the Children of the Wilderness or the Mount Olive First Pentecostal Holiness Church at 299-4176 or 658-5122. Registration must be received by 4 p.m. on Dec. 10. Volunteers and donations are welcome for the program. The group will give away games, bicycles and gift cards for children up to age 15.