Downtown Christmas Open House is Friday

If you're ready to get in the Christmas spirit and need something to do on Friday night, look no further than the Downtown Christmas Open House.

The open house is from 5 to 9 p.m. and will include a variety of activities, all of which are free, according to Old Town Cape marketing and event coordinator Katie Amrhein. First Friday with the Arts also will occur downtown that night.

"Pictures with Santa will be available at Santa's Workshop at 32A N. Main St., and the Southeast Athletic Department will be doing craft with kids as well," Amrhein said. "The carriage rides will be offered from the new Arts Council of Southeast Missouri location at 16 N. Spanish St."

There will also be caroling, sweets and shopping specials at downtown shops.

There is a $1,500 shopping spree giveaway that many businesses are participating in. Shoppers can visit Hutson's Fine Furniture or Santa's Workshop to pick up a raffle-ticket booklet and then as they shop at various businesses they turn in the coordinating raffle ticket to a downtown business to be entered into the drawing.

"So the more businesses that you visit and drop off a raffle ticket, the more chances you have to win," Amrhein said.

Amrhein said the hope is to announce the winner live on Facebook after it's selected next Tuesday.

"It's a great way to kick off your holiday shopping," Amrhein said. "And it keeps your money in our local community. You'll be able to find unique gifts ... and meet the actual business owners."

We encourage you to bundle up and get downtown Friday night to have some Christmasy fun and support our local businesses.