CORBIN — Shopping local is more important than ever and that’s why the City of Corbin and the Corbin Tourism and Convention Commission have teamed up to provide downtown Corbin’s annual Christmas Open House on Sunday between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
“Christmas Open House is our official kickoff event for the holiday shopping season in downtown Corbin,” said Corbin Tourism Director Maggy Kriebel. “It’s been an annual tradition for years and years. It’s going to be bigger and better than it’s ever been before.”
Christmas Open House is an opportunity for downtown businesses to provide specials and discounts to customers while also allowing patrons to really get to know local business owners in the city. Kriebel said the event also encourages community members to shop local.
“We’re showcasing our local businesses, we’re asking people to shop small and support local businesses,” she said. “It’s an event that brings people to the businesses to patronize those businesses, whether it’s eating from a restaurant or shop or get a service done or buy gift certificates for services.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic has caused several of Corbin’s local businesses to temporarily close or seize certain services, business owners are looking for the support of the community now more than ever.
“Corbin is probably 90 percent dependent on its local economy, meaning the majority of our businesses are small businesses,” Kriebel said. “The coronavirus has been devastating to business in general and if we don’t continue to shop small and support our local businesses, they’ll close—it’ll die. And with it, so will our city and everything that we’ve built ourselves upon.
“We encourage people, even if they don’t take part in the event, to shop local and patronize our businesses.”
Several of Corbin’s downtown businesses will be open during the event while various local craft vendors will also be set up throughout downtown.
“We will have craft vendor alley on 1st Street which will contain about 14 to 16 vendors that are all specialty vendors that all offer something different, everything from pottery to handmade soaps to chainsaw carved decorations—a wide variety of great craft items,” Kriebel said.
Cumberland Valley National Bank will be providing a free treat for attendees while First Baptist Church will be handing out free hot chocolate. During the event, Hillview Stables will also be offering train rides to those in attendance and the Corbin High School marching band will be playing and set up in both Nibroc Park and on the corner of 2nd and 3rd Street.
In addition to the local businesses open and set up throughout downtown, Santa Claus will also be making an appearance on Sunday in Nibroc Park which will be decorated to look like a scene out the movie “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” with the Grinch Village provided by the Cumberland Arts Collective.
“We want to thank our sponsor Avizion Glass—they are donating plexiglass to put in front of Santa’s house so that Santa can still fly into Corbin and get pictures with kids,” Kriebel said. “He’ll be sitting in his house and plexiglass will be in front of it, so that children can stand and get their picture made with Santa.”
The Corbin Public Library will also be providing kits to allow kids to write their letters to Santa Claus and those letters can be dropped off in the mailbox in Nibroc Park.
In order to ensure that community members have fun while remaining safe, Kriebel said hand sanitizer and disposable masks will be available and all of those participating in the event will be wearing masks. Vendor booths will also be more than six feet apart to follow social distancing guidelines and prevent crowds from gathering in front of booths.