Thursday afternoon Wanda Lee Rohlfs, executive director of Main Street Lincoln, said much of the
preparation for this weekend's downtown event had been completed,
but there were still a few loose ends to be tied up.
Christmas tree that will stand on the courthouse lawn during the
Christmas season had arrived, but at noon, wasn't quite ready to put
"There are always things you don't expect, like the Christmas
lights for the tree. When we got them out, several of them didn't
work, so we had to go get more," she explained.
But, these are the types of things that Rohlfs, over the years,
has learned to take in stride, and she's confident that by Friday
evening when Santa comes into town to light the tree, all will be
Rohlfs is thankful, though, that as the eleventh hour arrives,
she has had a host of people helping get this event off the ground.
"I can't tell you how much Andy Anderson has done for us this
year, and my own husband, Gene. They have really made a big
difference," she said.
Rohlfs said they are just two of several who deserve to be
recognized and thanked for all their help. The Santa hut, new this
year, was donated by the Lincoln Lakes Condo Association.
Sherwin-Williams donated paint for the hut, and the National Honor
Society from the high school did the painting and decorating of the
Mary Kelley has also pitched in to help, along with Jackie Baker,
Judy Conzo, Gladys Dutz and Theresa Richert, who are regular Main
Street Lincoln volunteers.
The Y is helping with children's activities, and the Christmas
tree for the courthouse lawn was donated by Angel Valley Tree Farm.
Rohlfs said each of these folks is greatly appreciated, and
without them the open house weekend and other upcoming events would
not be possible.
Friday evening, Santa is set to arrive between 5 and 5:30. He'll
visit with those who come for the tree lighting, and more than
likely he will have a few "Ho-ho-ho's" for area children.
At 5:30 the downtown tree will be lit, with many of the downtown
stores turning on their window display lights at the same time.
For those who make the trip downtown, they are in for a real
treat, as local merchants are very well known for their lovely
window displays, and this year some of them will even feature live
Because Santa loves Lincoln so much, he's planning on coming back
to town Saturday morning to spend some quality time with local
The Saturday event with Santa will be at the Main Street Lincoln
office and will feature children's activities, a visit to Santa's
hut and a story read by Santa, along with some tasty treats.
This year, the holiday season is being spread out, with something
special going on in various businesses each weekend right up to
This weekend, while all the downtown businesses will be open and
anxious to see shoppers come, two in particular will be in the Main
On Saturday the first weekly drawing for downtown prizes will
take place at National Rent to Own.
Many folks are still getting used to the longtime Lincoln
business being under a new name, but step inside the store, and
shoppers will see that very little has changed.
The store, which has been managed for nearly the entirety of its
history in Lincoln by Lincolnite Roger Matson, has seen name changes
When it was first opened by Henry Baird of Springfield, the
store's name was Whippoorwill. Under that name, the main offering
from the business was electronics such as televisions, on a
Soon, the business would start expanding and would find a new
home, leaving the Woodlawn Road area for a spot on Broadway Street.
With a new home would come a new name, Action Rentals and Sales.
As the business grew, the need for greater showroom space grew as
well. This is what eventually brought the store to the corner of
Kickapoo and Broadway.
Step inside this weekend and take a look at everything this
hometown business has to offer. There is a wide variety of
furnishings, from living room or family room pieces to dining room
sets and fabulous bedroom sets.
The store also offers household accessories such as lamps, as
well as televisions, computers, appliances and even cameras.
[to top of second column]
Rohlfs commented on National Rent to Own, saying it was a very
important part of the community and offered a vital resource for
"National Rent to Own offers shoppers options that many of them
may need," she said. "Of course anything can be purchased outright,
but for someone who's maybe only going to be in town for a while,
furnishings can be rented, so they don't have to buy, and when they
leave town, they don't have to move it. When we're looking at trying
to bring people to Lincoln, even for a short time, this is a very
attractive option for them."
In addition, if the perfect item is just a little beyond the
budget but still on your have-to- have list, be sure to talk to
Matson about the rent-to-own options he has to offer.
Be sure to stop in at National Rent to Own this weekend and say
hello to Roger and his staff, and enter for the first weekend
Oh, and by the way, the theme for the National Rent to Own window
is "The 12 Days of Christmas." How fitting is that for a downtown
store, to choose a song that includes the words "my true love gave
On Sunday the Main Street spotlight will move to Hallie's on the
downtown square. Hallie's will once again this year host a spaghetti
dinner fundraiser, with proceeds going to Main Street Lincoln.
Rohlfs said the fundraiser is a very important source of revenue
for the annual Christmas events. Funds raised will go toward
purchasing more decorations for the downtown square.
"We try to add new wreaths each year, and this is the money that
makes that possible," she said.
Rohlfs added that this money also helps with various needs that
come up, like lights that don't work and have to be replaced.
Brian Huffman and his wife, Cheri, opened Hallie's in
2002. Huffman is the fourth generation of his family to run an
eatery in Lincoln and the fourth generation to serve up an
exclusive, well-kept secret recipe for schnitzel.
The original schnitzel recipe was developed by Blossom Huffman
back in the 1940s when she owned The Mill on Route 66.
While the schnitzel is the mainstay of the restaurant, the menu
includes a wide variety of nicely prepared dishes, including
burgers, chicken, a variety of horseshoe and pony shoe sandwiches,
and much more.
In addition, the restaurant is filled with interesting items to
cast the eye upon. Being a fan of movies of all types, Huffman has
decorated the interior with a variety of vintage movie posters. Also
having a love for music, he has added to the décor a vast collection
of vinyl records. With today's iPods, MP3 and CDs, taking a
youngster to a restaurant filled with vinyl could be a wonderful
opportunity for parents and grandparents to share with the younger
generation what their more youthful years might have been like.
Hallie's window theme this year is the same as the townwide theme
for Sunday: "Holly Jolly Christmas."
Rohlfs said diners can expect to be waited on by some very
special "holly jolly" elves this year, as Main Street Lincoln
volunteers will be on hand to wait tables and, of course, do a
little visiting with friends and neighbors.
Rohlfs spoke briefly about the restaurant, saying: "We are so
fortunate to have such a historical restaurant in our downtown area.
It is the kind of place that can really bring back memories. Plus,
it is a family-owned business, and that is very important."
In addition to National Rent to Own and Hallie's, many of the
downtown businesses will be open Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday
for the open house weekend.
On a daily basis, it is easy to see citizens of Lincoln and Logan
County reaching out and offering support to their friends and
neighbors. This area is possibly one of the most supportive and
charitable one could ever hope to find.
As the holiday season arrives, it is hoped that everyone will
remember that the business owners in Lincoln and Logan County, and
their staff, are your friends, your family and your neighbors. They
depend on your patronage each year to keep their businesses going.
[By NILA SMITH]