Light Up Night and Open House in Historic Downtown Elkin was held on Friday outside the Reeves Theatre.
Adults and children alike welcomed the holiday season as a horse-drawn carriage carried passengers on rides, the street buzzed with excitement, children gearing up for their moment with Santa, residents sipping on a cup of hot chocolate.
However, Friday night was about a special moment, the lighting of a tree — a tree that serves as a beacon of hope — and connecting the community together.
Lestine Hutchens, Mayor of Elkin, dazzled the crowd of a couple hundred as she shifted the circuit giving power to the Christmas tree that now illuminates on the theatre.
“This is a joyous occasion for Elkin,” said Hutchens. “The street looks beautiful. The support from the community is a reflection of the greatness that lies within Elkin.”
The bubbly and popular mayor was seen navigating through the crowd saying hello to everyone. She expressed a unique sentiment for families struggling in tough economic times.
“We know it’s tough and not the happiest times for every family, but we’re in this together; it’s going to be a great new year, and that’s my hope,” Hutchens told The Tribune.
The event was a significant draw for Elkin on a Friday night with lots of new spectators attending.
“This is my first time ever attending Light Up,” said 11-year-old Harper Lee Libbert gleefully.
The Elkin Elementary student was joined by her two friends, Leira Riddle, 10, and Beth Russell, 10. The girls were excited about seeing this year’s Light Up buzz, and they were also out to see the dancers.
Santa Claus, played by Dave George of Dave Antiques, was a perfect fit for the Light Up night.
Santa called the children over besides him and led them all in a synchronized rendition of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Some may have thought it was rehearsed, but it wasn’t. The children were captivated by George’s interpretation of Christmas that even Santa may study George’s performance.
During the festivities, residents were treated to a show by the Pam Wurdeman Academy of Dance Arts and Performance dancers, cloggers by Footloose Express. Even Elvis was in the crowd, played by Michael Jones.
Also seen at the event were cheerleaders, and they were pleasantly noisy, and rightfully pointing out that they recently won two competitions earning their way to nationals.
The children were raising funds for the Elk Legacy Cheer team.
“We need tumbling mats, and we’re trying to raise money for nationals,” said coach Jami Harris.
The Cheer Limited National Championship will be held on March 15th through March 17th in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
In the spirit of Christmas, and to help a local team appear at something important for the children, this repoter’s donation was priceless.