TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer
Maxine Von Gruenigen has a favorite saying — “Downtown truly belongs to the community.”
That’s even more so during the holiday season, which is why she and other downtown Corbin merchants are getting ready again to pull out all the stops for this year’s Christmas Open House.
And it’s less than a week away.
The 26th Annual Christmas Open House will be this Sunday, Nov. 24, from 1-5 p.m in Downtown Corbin. A total of 16 merchants will participate in the event, which features special promotions and activities, along with some special buys, giveaways, and refreshments.
“The idea is to get people downtown for the day. They can come and ride downtown on the Oleika Train, one of our favorite things. They can come have their picture taken with Santa Claus by a professional photographer, mail a letter to Santa in the mailbox, go grab a bite to eat or enjoy some coffee or tea, and do some shopping from a variety of stores,” said Von Gruenigen, who owns Maggie J’s on Main Street.
Merchants participating in Sunday’s Christmas Open House are Maggie J’s, Seasons Restaurant, Gibson’s Music, Whitaker Bank, Alley Stuff, The Dixie, McBurney’s, Kentucky Farm Bureau, Max’s Toys & Games, Sew Swanky, Cumberland Valley National Bank, Hear Better Hearing Aids, House of S & J, Hamlin and Kersey, Creation School of Cosmetology, and You and Me, Coffee & Tea.
Some of the downtown activities will be at Nibroc Park. That’s where Santa Claus can be seen, and where a photo taken with Santa can be done by Kat’s Eye Photography.
Other activities at the family-friendly event include refreshments available in the lobby of Whitaker Bank, while free popcorn will be given away by Cumberland Valley National Bank.
In addition, downtown merchants will showcase what their stores offer with festive decorations in their window displays.
The Christmas Open House is a collaboration by the Main Street Merchants Association and the Downtown Corbin organization.
“It is a very fun event. There will be Christmas music playing, it has a very festive feel to it and people will be moving around downtown, which adds to the fun,” Downtown Corbin Director Andrew Salmons said.
Von Gruenigen, who founded the Christmas Open House in 1987, pointed out the merchants love being a part of the event, which has become a holiday tradition
“It’s a lot of work, but it’s always special. The planning is done well in advance for this. Anything that turns out that well takes a lot of people to put it together. Everyone who does it is proud to put it on, and if the weather’s good that afternoon, it’s a great day. It just makes a hometown proud to be able to come to a hometown Christmas,” she said.