The local merchants are in a bind with the
coronavirus and have talked a great deal about how to attract
visitors to the heart of the city while maintaining a COVID-19 safe
environment for shoppers and shop staff.
The bottom line is, they will be asking everyone to follow the Phase
four recovery plan guidelines. When shopping, wear a face mask.
Carry sanitary wipes and clean your hands regularly, observe social
distancing and respect the “personal space” of those around you. The
merchants will be working to the same end. Staff will wear their
face masks and thoroughly cleaning common areas regularly.
Though the virus may make our lifestyles a little different right
now, the retailers want shoppers to know that their stores are well
stocked and they are looking forward to a healthy holiday season.
To enhance the shopping experience, retailers have planned a series
of events starting on Friday, November 27th and running through
Saturday, December 12th.
On Friday evening, November 27th, the community will be invited to
the second annual tree lighting ceremony in downtown Lincoln. The
event will begin at 5:30 p.m. this year and last approximately 30
minutes. Afterward, visitors are invited to walk around the Logan
County Courthouse Square and view each of the individually decorated
Social distancing is requested.
This year, the setting for the trees will be a bit different. To
help folks keep their distance from one another, trees are going to
outline the courthouse lawn. Guests can view all the trees from the
exterior sidewalk that surrounds the courthouse.
Because the Logan County Courthouse reconstruction project will be
getting underway soon, there are some fine line details that need to
be worked out.
Which side of the courthouse the official lighting ceremony will
take place will be announced closer to the date.
Area businesses, organizations and individuals have purchased and
are responsible for decorating their own tree. Trees will be lit
Black Friday evening.
Kathie Williams of Small Town Creations, who started the Winter
Wonderland sold approximately 45 trees last year. This year Williams
pre-ordered 70 trees and there are still several available for
anyone who would like to participate.
The cost of the tree is $50. With that, the tree is provided along
with a weatherproof sign with the buyer name. Electricity and
extension cords are also provided.
Williams arranges for trees to be delivered and staked around the
courthouse. The signage for each tree is placed immediately, the
buyers are free to come and decorate their tree just prior to
Buyers may decorate with two strands of Christmas lights and
non-breakable ornaments and decorations. They may not use tinsel or
foil garland, no glass or breakable ornaments, and no edible
ornaments. All decorations should be securely attached to the tree.
If a tree should become “undone” due to wind or other conditions, it
is the buyer’s responsibility to come and put it back together.
Williams recently reported that from the list of participants last
year, about 10 have chosen not to do a tree this year. At the same
time she has 10 to 12 new participants for this year. There are
still plenty of trees available, so if anyone is interested, they
should contact Williams at Small Town Creations on the west side of
the Square. The shop is open Tuesday through Sunday starting at 10
a.m. and closed on Monday’s.
Horse drawn carriage rides by Red Gate Farms
Last year, the business community brought carriage rides to the
downtown area, using a local business. This year, it was a sad day
when the group learned that the business owners have moved out of
the area, and won’t be available for the carriage rides.
Then, they learned about Red Gate Farms in Petersburg, and that the
farm also offered carriage rides. Even though it was not yet
Halloween when they contacted the owners at Red Gate, they learned
that the company is booked most of the time through the holiday
At the same time, they did have openings for three Friday evenings
starting on November 27th.
Free rides around the courthouse square will be offered from 6 p.m.
to 9 p.m. on Friday, November 27th, December 11th, and December
The carriage rides will be an amazing way to see the winter
wonderland tree display from a short distance and allow visitors to
enjoy the experience while distancing from others.
Christmas Express kicks off on Small Business
This year about 25 downtown businesses are going to be participating
in the Christmas Express. Based on a train theme the draw to
shopping downtown in Lincoln, in addition to the great merchandise
that is offered, is the opportunity to win a gift basket valued at
more than $500.
When stores open on Saturday, November 28th, shoppers
will have the chance to pick up a train ticket at the check-out.
When they make a purchase in one of the participating businesses,
the clerk will ‘punch’ or stamp the ticket.
Shoppers should keep their ticket handy through December 12th. On
December 12th (or before if you qualify), tickets can be turned in at Small Town
Creations to be entered into a drawing for the gift basket.
[to top of second column]
To qualify for the drawing the ticket needs to be stamped by more than half of
the businesses listed. This is a great opportunity for shoppers. They can spend
approximately two weeks visiting shops, and getting ready for Christmas. Then on
December 18th someone will be the lucky winner. The drawing will be done on the
18th via Facebook live.
The gift basket will include gift cards or merchandise from downtown stores or
businesses. The businesses have the option of contributing a $25 gift card or
$25 worth of merchandise.
That extra $500 will be a great way to top off your Christmas shopping, or hang
on to it and treat yourself to a shopping spree after Christmas!
For the second year, the Logan County Tourism Bureau is hosting a Gingerbread
Contest at the Depot Visitors Center. The contest is open to all, so grab those
cookie sheets and get baking!
The staff at the LCTB will be accepting entries for the contest on Monday,
November 23rd through Wednesday, November 25th. Choose your own theme and create
your masterpiece for all to enjoy.
There is no entry fee for this contest, and all age groups are welcome. So
schools, local businesses, and individuals are all being invited to participate.
Starting on Saturday, November 28th, visitors can view the
gingerbread displays in person at the Depot. Visitors choose their favorite
display and vote for the winner.
New this year, the gingerbread will also go digital with pictures posted on
Facebook. Viewers via social media may also vote for their favorite by stamping
their “like” on the photo.
The winner will be announced on December 18th via Facebook live.
The LCTB is also looking for entrants! As mentioned, this is open to anyone in
the Logan County area.
about how to enter here
Santa Claus IS coming to town along with some other characters
On Saturday, December 5th, Santa and Mrs. Claus will take to the streets of
Lincoln, visiting with children as they stroll about. The Clauses’ plan to
arrive in town at approximately 9 a.m. and will be strolling around the square
until 10:30 a.m.
The group reached out to Santa to find out if he is COVID-aware, and he assured
them he is. Santa and Mrs. Claus will “mask-up” for their walk around town.
In addition to Santa, the Downtown Lincoln business group is reaching out to
several other great Christmas characters who may appear around town at various
times during the Christmas Express event.
The group also contacted to Kim Patterson-Quinn at the Lincoln Community High
School. ‘P-Q’ is working on bringing some special caroling and music to the
downtown area. Additional details will be provided as they become available for
both the musicians and Christmas characters.
Santa in the Window
One of the strangest parts of this year will be the manner in which Santa is
able to interact with children.
Many of the downstate shopping malls are doing Santa behind Plexiglas. Kids can
approach the glass and speak with Santa, but they cannot sit on his lap. Santa
is deeply saddened by this, but still knows that it is better than not getting
to see his little ones at all.
When Sorrento’s owner Lisa Drew heard about the Plexiglas in malls, it sparked
an idea of how Santa could have some cool sit down time with local children.
She came up with Santa in the Window.
On Monday, December 7th, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. children will be able to enjoy a
visit with Santa, through the front window at Sorrento’s.
Santa will be inside sitting at the storefront window. A bench will be set
outside for children to come and sit down and talk to him via baby monitors.
Children will be able to have a real conversation with Santa, telling his wishes
for Christmas and asking each child his all-important test question – “Have you
been good this year?”
Santa may also be in Lincoln one more time before Christmas. Details are still
being worked out, so look for more information next week.
All in all, Christmas will be alive and well in Lincoln this year. The downtown
businesses are anxious for the holiday season and are hopeful that the community
will do at least part of their Christmas shopping in their beautiful stores.
For those who have not been in our downtown shops, now is a great time to go.
The stores offer so much, shoppers could easily do the large majority of their
shopping without ever leaving town. We hope you will give them a try this
season, and bear in mind, each time you buy you are just that much closer to
winning that big gift basket.