You better watch out and you better not cry, because Santa Claus is coming to Melodies on Main this evening. The annual Christmas celebration for downtown Marion is scheduled for today from 5 to 7 p.m. at the City Stage on North Main Street.

Mr. and Mrs. Santa will visit with kids and parents will be able to take pictures of Santa and their family. New this year for 2018, will be the Children’s Choir from New Manna Church and the always popular Stephanie Pritchard and friends from the Foothills Community Theater, singing your favorite holiday songs, according to a news release.

There will be hay rides around town and funnel cakes, kettle corn and hot cider. Booths for children to make ornaments and visit the craft booths that will be nearby.

Back again this year is Letters to Santa. Children should bring their letters to Mr. and Mrs. Santa and leave them in the Magic Mail Box for delivery.

The downtown merchants are still open for later hours during the Winter Nights – Christmas Lights promotion.

Fifteen downtown businesses will give raffle tickets for every $10 spent in their business until Thursday, Dec. 20. Customers can win $500 cash, $250 cash, $150 cash and $100 cash. Participating businesses are open Thursday evenings until 8:30 p.m. Nov. 29 through Dec. 20.

For every $10 purchased at participating stores, customers will receive a ticket. Mayor Steve Little will pull the winning tickets at the Marion City Stage at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21. The winning ticket holder must be present to win, according to the news release.

During the Winter Nights – Christmas Lights, you can follow the Candy Cane Trail to get your ticket from these participating Marion merchants: Aria Rose Clothing, Austin Furniture, Bill Griffith Jewelers, Crooked Door Coffee House, Fire and Ice Jewelry, Flavors on Main, Happy Hen Vintage, Killough’s Music & Loan, MACA, Mr. Bob's Do-Nuts, Shucks Pearls, Springhouse Farm Home Décor, Spruced Boutique, Vintage Market Marion and XYZ Spirits.

The “Winter Nights – Christmas Lights” cash drawing promotion is organized by Marion businesses owners: Charlene Hollifield – Shucks Pearls; Doug Watson – Flavors on Main and Tim Elliott – XYZ Spirits with the support of the MBA, according to the news release.

Merchants will offer extended hours at the downtown businesses so you can shop for the best Christmas gift ideas--jewelry, furniture, gift items and candles, musical instruments, coffees, donuts, and custom, hand-crafted gifts are just a few of the shopping opportunities for your shopping pleasure.

One of the special features of the downtown Christmas shopping season is the Blue Ridge Artisans Show at MACA. The show features more than a dozens of McDowell County’s finest artisans. This is the place to shop for one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts.

The Marion Ghost Riders will sponsor a community food drive. A great opportunity to share the Christmas Spirit is by sharing food. Bring your canned goods, non-perishables and toys to be distributed to McDowell County food pantries and for the McDowell County Toy Run. Remember “What’s raised here stays here,” according to the news release.

For more information, contact Lou Godfrey at 828-652-2215.

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