Uptowne holiday event brings out strollers

Dec. 01, 2012 @ 06:00 PM

It may not have felt like Christmas Saturday with temperatures in the 60s in the afternoon, but the Uptowne area looked festive during the third “Uptowne High Point Holiday Stroll: A Dickens Christmas.”
Red and green balloons marked the area of N. Main Street between Ray and State avenues where businesses held open houses, vendors sold holiday items indoors and outside and people sported holiday sweaters as they popped in and out of shops and carried evergreen wreaths they had purchased.
At J.H, Adams Inn, a harpist played while children told Santa their most fervent wishes, and visitors helped themselves to hot cider and chocolate. Across the street, two horse-drawn carriages offered rides for a small fee, a new feature at the Uptowne event.
The rides were a hit, and business was steady, according to Lisa Atkins, one of the drivers for Heritage Carriages, the Winston-Salem business that also provides carriage rides in Old Salem.
“The holiday spirit has been great; everybody has it. The children love it because lots of them don’t get to see farm animals,” Atkins said.
The Norton family – dad Brian, mom April and four children – squeezed into a carriage for their first-ever ride while the kids’  grandparents snapped photos. Brian Norton II declared that seating was squished, but the Norton children could hardly wait for the horse to get moving.
Jameson Calfee, 6, wasn’t so sure he wanted to ride in the carriage; he seemed more interested in his Legos. His mother, Heather, however, said she was all for the Uptowne stroll. The Calfees live only a block away, but Heather visited nearby shops Saturday that she’d never been in.
“It’s nice for the community to get out, and it’s nice to be able to walk around the neighborhood, as opposed to going to a building to shop for crafts,” Heather said. “I’ve seen lots of folks out and about, and my vote is, yes, do it again.”
The North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, a co-sponsor of the stroll for the first time, provided volunteers in Victorian-style costumes to lend atmosphere, offer help and pose for photos. Almost the entire Sims family – dad Roger; mom Jenna; Kenan, 10; Cameron, 8; and Asher, 6 – donned costumes for their stroll. Daughter Allyn, 12, was missing because she was in rehearsals for the Shakespeare Festival’s upcoming production of “A Christmas Carol.”
vknopfler@hpe.com / 888-3601