By Sherry Lucas
Holiday-inspired and cider-fueled, the Santa Claus Crawl returns on Thursday, December 1, with its merry mission of highlighting Olde Towne merchants and businesses.
The Main Street Clinton event puts a fun and festive stamp on night-time shopping to greet the season, just as the city is lit up like a Christmas tree. The Santa Claus Crawlers can pick up their keepsake mugs (included with registration) as early as 5:30 p.m. on December 1, at the Main Street Clinton booth and tent set up on Jefferson Street.
That puts shoppers right downtown for the City’s 6 p.m. Lighting of the Tree in front of City Hall, with music from Lovett Elementary School Arise Choir as accompaniment.
Keepsake mugs sport a vintage design this year, which fits right in with the Clinton’s Olde Towne charm and the cider sips that’ll refresh shoppers at every turn.
“Our impetus was to do something like a pub crawl,” Main Street Clinton Director Tara Lytal said of the event’s start. Deep sage green T-shirts with the same design are on sale, too, for $25.
Advance registration for the Santa Claus Crawl is encouraged. It’s $25 on the Main Street Clinton website, MainStreetClintonMS.com. The Santa Claus Crawl is $30 the day of the event.
With cider to warm the spirit and prime after-hours shopping to spark a spree, the Santa Claus Crawl offers a fun and relaxing evening out for friends and families. Turner the Train will be downtown, to take revelers from one spot to the next.
At every business, shoppers have the opportunity to not only make headway on their holiday gift lists, but also to vote for this year’s best cider and to register for a door prize. Each participating business has a door prize valued at $50 that’s up for grabs by a lucky winner, to be determined at the Santa Claus Crawl After-Party, 8 to 9 p.m. at the Olde Towne Depot. The party is also the place to hobnob with fellow shoppers, enjoy some tasty food catered by local businesses and enjoy music by Becky Phillips, music instructor at Clinton Christian Academy.
In addition to downtown retailers, a couple of restaurants also participate, and the Santa Claus Crawl Photo Booth at Century 21, sponsored by Century 21, BankPlus and Wilbanks & Dowd, is always a popular event draw. Attendance has consistently hovered around the 115 mark in recent years.
‘I’m very excited about it,” Allison Reno, new owner of Meme’s Brick Street Bakery, said of the Santa Claus Crawl. “I have enjoyed it as a patron for years, but this is the first year I get to enjoy it as a business owner. I think it’s a great way to celebrate the season. It’s wonderful for us to have everyone come in, sip on cider and get to enjoy a sweet snack, relax and enjoy the season before the hustle and bustle really starts.”