Getting ready

Jeffrey Markham (left) and Lane Sutton, both with the City of Paris, wrap garland around a light pole on East Washington Street as they prepare for this weekend’s  Downtown Unwrapped kickoff event, Christmas Open House.

Downtown Paris stores will have their first Christmas open houses this weekend.

They’re planned Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon, according to the Downtown Paris Association.

“This is the kickoff event of Downtown Unwrapped 2019, a festive slate of activities that runs from early November until the last package is wrapped on Christmas Eve,” DPA Executive Director Kathy Ray said.

“We traditionally begin the holiday season with three days of beautiful open houses that combine the wonderful sights, sounds, foods and aromas of the holiday season.”

 Ray emphasized that open house specials and delicious refreshments abound in more than a dozen stores.

“There’s no better place for holiday shopping than in downtown Paris,” she said. “It’s a lovely, leisurely place to browse with personal service and helpful perks, including free gift-wrapping and delivery.

“Downtown offers everything from clothing to coffee, flowers to furniture, and home decor to delicious food. Downtown merchants also offer gift certificates for items ranging from manicures to diamond rings,” Ray said.

The festivities begin Friday evening with the Inman Middle School Band performing holiday tunes beginning at 5:30 on the courthouse lawn, followed by the Love Lights a Tree ceremony at 6. Shoppers can browse and shop in downtown stores during candlelight open houses from 6-8.

On Saturday, downtown shops will be open all day, including another candlelight open house from 6-8

HarmoniX, under the direction of Rhonda Stanton, will be performing at 1 p.m. at Grace Episcopal Church. Then at 2, HarmoniX will perform around the court square at several locations.

Then from 1-5 p.m. Sunday, shoppers can continue to enjoy Christmas open houses in stores throughout downtown, with the Henry County High School Madrigals singing in various shops throughout the afternoon.

Ray said a host of other holiday activities are coming up as part of Downtown Unwrapped 2019, many are sponsored or co-sponsored by DPA.

“Others will be hosted by organizations that appreciate the lovely, Victorian backdrop of downtown Paris for their events,” she said. “Most events are free.”

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