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Shoppers flock to downtown for ‘Christmas Open House’

  • Kristen Harris checks out a rare Thanksgiving display in Hoskins on Market Street during Saturday’s Christmas Open House event. - G. Chambers Williams III

  • Checking out the Christmas merchandise at Hoskins-in-the-Flat during Saturday’s downtown Christmas Open House are, from left: Sandy Russell, Ashley Russell and Thomas Eager. - G. Chambers Williams III

Shoppers turned out in big numbers last Friday and Saturday to get a look at what downtown merchants have in stock for the coming holiday season.

It was the annual “Christmas Open House” event, sponsored by the Historic Downtown Clinton Merchants Association.

Merchants all through the downtown area had their stores decorated and loaded up with Christmas merchandise inside and out, and several of the merchants said they were pleased by the heavy turnout.

“It’s been great,” Donald Raines, co-owner of Burrville antiques, said at mid-afternoon Saturday. “We’ve had huge crowds today, and Friday was great, too.”

Raines said Burrville is celebrating its 22nd Christmas this year on Market Street.

“Twenty-one years ago, we were the only antique shop on the street,” he said.

Mollie Farrar, one of the managers and a member of the ownership family of Hoskins in the Flat, said she was pleased with the turnout.

Her store was also showing off its expanded sales area in an adjacent room, where Thanksgiving and Christmas merchandise was on display, and fresh-baked cookies were available along with fresh-brewed coffee and hot spiced apple cider.

In the former downtown park area owned by Hoskins, Santa Claus was set up not to hear from children, but to commune with dogs for the day.

That was in conjunction with a huge dog-adoption event in the park area sponsored by the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley. Dogs of several breeds and sizes were on display looking for new homes, and several were lucky enough to be adopted.