The Town of Benson will continue its largest holiday tradition when Christmas on Main takes place this Friday night.
Guests will be treated to a variety of events leading up to the annual Christmas Parade and the arrival of the Jolly Old Elf from the North Pole.
“Benson is getting ready for Christmas on Main,” Benson Area Chamber of Commerce President Loretta Byrd said. “The windows are glowing with beautiful decorations as we prepare for one of the most loved Benson events of the year.”
Downtown merchants will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. and there will be plenty of giveaways by local nonprofit organizations. Food trucks will also be on hand to feed visitors.
Setting up shop will be King’s, The Humble Pig and Funn 4 Ahl Funnel Cakes. Cornerstone Cafe will also be open.
As always, the downtown merchants will once again be battling for prizes in the Window Decorating Contest. Categories include Best Overall, Best Johnston County Theme, Most Elegant, Most Creative Use of Merchandise, Most Festive, Best Non-Johnston County Theme and Best Tree.
Benson Mayor Jerry Medlin will deliver welcoming remarks at 5:55 p.m. at Benton Square followed by musical performances by the Benson Elementary School Chorus, Ellen Allen and Ava Grace Jernigan.
Mayor Medlin along with Miss Benson Charli Rosenburg, Junior Miss Benson Gracie Barbour and Little Miss Benson Morgan Lee will then follow the tradition of lighting the Christmas tree which will sit on Benton Square, that’s slated for around 6:45 p.m.
Guests are invited to light up their cellphones after the lighting and join in the singing of “Silent Night.”
After the tree is lit, the parade through downtown will get underway with Santa Claus closing out the march down Main before meeting with kids and adults alike. He will greet guests near Jenny’s Sweet Creations.
Visitors to Christmas on Main are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy for a needy child in the Benson area. They can be dropped off at the corner of Market and Main streets.
If you’re unable to bring a toy Friday night, the chamber office will continue accepting toys until Dec. 12.
When the parade is over it doesn’t end the festivities. After meeting with Saint Nick, you can stick around for more entertainment as performers Alicia’s School of Performing Arts and Rendance Academy will dance at the corner of Main and Market streets. Or you can go check out the Classic Car and Antique Tractor Show in front of Warren Drug Company on Main Street. Plus there will be a light show in the Benson Library and the Benson Museum will welcome guests throughout the evening as well.
“We invite everyone to join us on Friday evening as we light our tree, host a beautiful parade and enjoy great entertainment,” Mrs. Byrd said. “Nonprofit groups will be providing free items and there will be several food trucks. Plus, Cornerstone Cafe will be open in their new location and the stores will be open for shopping. We hope everyone will spend their Friday night with us for an evening like you see on those TV Christmas movies.”