Home Local News Rockingham’s “Christmas on the Square” Showcases Local Vendors; Santa Visits

Rockingham’s “Christmas on the Square” Showcases Local Vendors; Santa Visits

Members of Richmond County Animal Advocates during Saturday's Christmas on the Square festival.
Photo courtesy of Betty McIntyre.

ROCKINGHAM – Downtown Rockingham filled up quickly Saturday morning with holiday spirit as food vendors, crafters, activities for children and art displays celebrated the city’s annual Christmas on the Square event.

The event, which took place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., began with cool, gloomy skies and patches of rain. The rain was short-lived and didn’t stop folks from continuing their ventures throughout Harrington Square.

“The rain started out dampening things, but around 11:30 a.m. we were glad to see the crowd coming back out again,” event coordinator Carolyn Ford stated.

A total of 98 vendors participated in the event, and people lined up at Beaver Dam United Methodist Church of Rockingham’s booth to purchase hot chocolate and hot cheese grits. The church also had a variety of pastries, nachos, aloe plants, chips, and much more for guests to choose from. Reverend Terry Cornelius mentioned that all the proceeds made would go toward the Alzheimer’s Association.

Arts Richmond was also busy showcasing several artists and their exhibits. One featured artist was Ron Kanode, who had his unique coffee cup birdhouses on display. Kanode is a Vietnam veteran who began making the birdhouses this past summer for the Senior Olympics at the Cole Auditorium. His display won a blue ribbon.

Another exhibit was Lula Smith who has been painting for 40 years. One piece she had on display was titled “Christmas in the City,” which was a colorful, vibrant and eye-catching creation. Smith has been setting up at Arts Richmond for years.

“I wanted to create something new and unique for a Christmas card each year, and this one was one of my paintings for the card,” Smith explained. “Everything I paint is an original.”

David Arey also had his woodwork on display. Arey, who lives in Polkton, N.C., has been wood crafting since 1998, and explained that this was his fourth year exhibiting in Christmas on the Square.

Local photographer Jimmy McDonald was on hand with some of his photos on display as well.

Mary Ann Deese displayed her paintings as she shared a booth with Sue Roth, who had a variety of crafts set up. Deese began painting three years ago at a local senior center while attending a class which John Moore teaches.

Mindy Schwartz, who has been making jewelery for over 20 years, had her hand-crafted jewelry on display.

Local authors and storytellers J.A. and Azalea Bolton were on site with both of their books “Just Passing Time” and “Just Passing Time Together” available for purchase. The Boltons have been writing books for seven years and storytelling much longer.

Author Lucy Allen had her book “The Pond” available for purchase, which consists of short daily devotionals which are inspired by the pond located at her home.

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“We moved from our last home we lived in for 35 years to (our current) one that had the pond,” Allen explained. “All my devotionals feature life around our pond which is where I was inspired to write. They include the wildlife around the pond, my husband fishing on the pond, and other different things. I’ve always enjoyed writing.”

Susan Perkins and Jan Allen were also offering painting classes, and the Veteran’s Art exhibit continued to be on display the entire day.

Outside on the square, one could sense the anticipation of the crowd as activities continued. There were vendors selling local honey, all sorts of homemade crafts, a variety of food vendors, LuLaRoe clothing, Rada Cutlery, a variety of toys, Cricket Wireless and homemade pies and cakes.

Sampling of wine from Locklear Vineyard and Winery from Maxton, N.C., as well as Dennis Winery from Albemarle, N.C., was available for tasting. The Lion’s Club had its vision van set up, G104 was on site, and the Rockingham Police Department was giving out various types of information to attendees.

Annabel Pender from Fayetteville had homemade apple butter, pepper jelly, miniature pound cakes, and an assortment of homemade crafts.

“This is our third year coming to Christmas on the Square, and we really enjoy it,” Pender noted.

Greg and Kim Hutchinson, as well as Tina Nielsen, were there on behalf of Richmond County Animal Advocates. They had a booth with homemade goodies for sale and stockings stuffed with surprises for furry friends.

It was the first time participating in Christmas on the Square for Bishop David Brown and Margo Brown from Christ Memorial Church in Rockingham. They sold fish and chicken sandwiches, hotdogs, fries, hot chocolate, and nachos with cheese and salsa.

“When we do it, we do it big,” Margo Brown said cheerfully. “We are out here having a good time.”

Of course Santa Claus was in attendance, and stayed busy as children stood anxiously in line to sit in his lap for a photo and to discuss their “lists” with him.

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