Last night, the citizens of Columbus, Neb., converged on downtown Columbus for the fourth annual Christmas Stroll in that town of 21,000. And Columbus boosters already have set the date for next year’s Christmas Stroll (Nov. 15, 2007), a night when merchants open their doors, serve refreshments and give away prizes to thank people for shopping locally.
Oh, and there is entertainment, too.
Organizers create a map that shows which merchants are participating and what shoppers will find at each store. For instance, last night, Ace Hardware gave away popcorn and held a drawing for a gift certificate. At Antiques & Treasures, a live musician performed, and the store sponsored a demonstration of vintage wool rug hooking. Personally, I would not have wanted to miss Joy’s ‘n More, where owners served cookies, cider, coffee, tea and featured an Elvis impersonator.
Forty merchants joined in last night’s festivities, which included marshmallow roasting and a live Nativity scene. There was a pretty poster announcing the event, and Web site photos of last year’s Christmas Stroll made the event seem quite inviting.
Columbus is situated in eastern Nebraska, west of Omaha and northwest of Lincoln.