Wednesday, November 02, 2011
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Main Street Lincoln and downtown merchants set for Christmas season

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[November 02, 2011]  It may be hard to believe, but Christmas is just a little over seven weeks away. This year the Main Street Lincoln organization is working to attract shoppers to the downtown area every one of those seven weeks. 

The role of a Main Street organization is to help recognize and preserve historical downtown areas. In addition, they are charged with helping to retain business in those areas. 

In order to retain business, shop owners in small communities have to attract shoppers. In an age when time is limited and convenience is a big asset to any shopper, downtown businesses are falling to the wayside on a daily basis. 

Fortunately for Lincoln, many of the shop owners in the downtown area are thoroughly committed to their stores around the square and the customers they serve on a daily basis. They work continually to provide goods and services that are the best they can find. They also devote themselves to providing friendly service by their staff and themselves. 


One of the nicest things about shopping locally and shopping in a small community is in knowing that when you walk into a store, the store owner and staff know you and are very happy to see you. 

Wanda Lee Rohlfs, the executive director of Main Street Lincoln, said recently that this year there will be more than ever before to attract shoppers to the downtown square every week. 

One of the rewards of shopping downtown this year will be weekly drawings for Main Street Money, store gift certificates and more. 

Beginning the end of this week, a Main Street drawing box will be placed in a "spotlighted business." The first drawing will be on Nov. 12, and then the box will move to another spotlighted business for the next week. 

The first spotlighted business to house the box will be National Rent to Own (formerly Action Rentals and Sales). On the Nov. 12, three names will be drawn there. One will win Main Street Money, another will win a gift certificate good at National Rent to Own, and the third will win tickets to the annual Main Street spaghetti dinner, scheduled for Nov. 13 at Hallie's on the downtown square. 

The box will then move to Serendipity Stitches and Custom Framing for a week, and the drawing there will be on Nov. 19. Again the drawing will include Main Street Money and a gift certificate for Serendipity. The other prize is yet to be announced. 

The pattern of drawing three names a week will continue at MKS Jewelers on Nov. 26, the Arcade Café on Dec. 3, Beans and Such on Dec. 10, the Log Cabin Quilt Shop on Dec. 17 and Mary Todd's Hallmark on Christmas Eve. 

In addition to the Main Street Money and gift certificates, a variety of third drawing prizes will be given out each week and may include tickets to the Kiwanis Italian dinner, Lincoln Theater tickets, gift items such as Sentsy Candles, floral arrangements and a 2011 official city of Lincoln Christmas ornament, which this year features the Lincoln Theater. 

On Nov. 11 the holiday season will officially kick off downtown with the lighting of the tree on the courthouse lawn and a visit from Santa. 

Rohlfs said that in addition to the large tree donated by Angel Valley Tree Farm and the large sleigh, there will also be a Santa hut this year. The Santa hut is a special addition to the courthouse square and will be there thanks at least in part to the Lincoln High School National Honor Society.

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Rohlfs said the National Honor Society has taken a great interest in Main Street Lincoln projects this year and she is really delighted to have had them. Besides helping with the flower watering this summer, the society has done an excellent job fixing up the hut, which was in a bit of disrepair. "They have added fresh paint and decorations, and it is going to be a wonderful addition to the square," Rohlfs said. 

Those who come to see the tree lighting will also get an opportunity to visit the downtown square and look at the lovely decorated store windows. Rohlfs said many of the windows are going to feature living figures this year.  

The theme for this holiday season is the "Songs of Christmas," and each business has chosen a song. Their song will be reflected in their window. In addition, the National Honor Society will once again be involved, with their own window downtown. 

On Nov. 12, in addition to shopping, there will be some very special children's activities. All youngsters are invited to come to the Main Street Lincoln office for a morning of fun with Santa. 

The activities are expected to begin at 10 a.m., when children will have an opportunity to write letters to Santa. They will also get a chance to decorate some edible treats. 

Later they will go across the street to the Santa hut and visit with Santa there. Santa will then return to the MSL office with the children, where he will read them one of his personal favorite bedtime stories. Santa is also expected to collect the letters the kids have written. The children will enjoy hot chocolate or a juice drink if they prefer and various snacks. 

Rohlfs said the children's activities this year are being made possible by a donation from the Elks Charitable Trust, which has enabled her to offer more for the kids than she has in the past -- something she is very grateful for. 

Also on the schedule is the annual Christmas parade. Rohlfs said the parade will be on the Friday night after Thanksgiving. She was also happy to report that Main Street Lincoln is already collecting entries and is hopeful this will be a great year for a parade. 

Rohlfs closed by saying these holiday events are very important to the community and to the downtown merchants: "I really can't find the words to let people know what this means to our downtown. I just hope we'll see lots of people come out for the tree lighting and the parade." 


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