Main Street businesses will host Gloucester's annual Christmas open house on Sunday, featuring a few extras this year.
Participating shops will offer holiday specials, drawings and refreshments from noon to 5 p.m. According to Ashley Gilmartin, the Gloucester Main Street Association's executive director, the open house will also include free horse drawn carriage rides, blacksmith demonstrations at the Village Blacksmith, and photos with Santa.
Gilmartin said the Botetourt Elementary PTA and Gloucester Main Street Association have partnered to offer special activities from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for students and parents of the school, which is on Main Street. Split Enz Salon and Heart Felt Touch Massage Therapy is also offering Botetourt teachers "thank you" services.
"Our goal is to strengthen relationships between the Botetourt family and our neighboring businesses and restaurants," Botetourt principal Tish Hudgins said in a news release.
"We hope to show Botetourt families all that Main Street has to offer, and to show Main Street the sweet faces and spending power of Botetourt families," said Gilmartin. "Our hope is that we will find more ways to help and support each other going forward."
Businesses joining this year's open house include Field's Quilting & Craft; Gloucester Arts on Main; Heart Felt Touch Massage Therapy; Kelsick Specialty Market; Sanders Retirement Village; Split Enz Salon; Smith's Florist & Gift Shop; The Nines Pet Boutiqu;, The Silver Box; Twice as Nice; Up Sout;, Village Blacksmith; Wilton Cottage & Garden and Yolanda's.
The Courthouse Restaurant, Good Life Kitchen, Olivia's in the Village, LuluBirds Kitchen, and Sweet Tooth Café & Bakery will participate as well.
Also Sunday, the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society holds its annual Christmas open house from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The shelter is at 6620 Jackson Lane in Gloucester near Main Street.
The Other Notes, a musical group from Richmond, will perform "The Adventures of Noah the Dog" at 2:30 p.m. Santa Claus will be there from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The shelter will offer cookies for sale and a 20 percent discount in the gift shop during the free event.
For more information on the Main Street Open House visit gloucestervillage.com. For more information on the humane society event call 804-693-5520 ext. 320 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hubbard can be reached by phone at 757-298-5834.