Santa a big draw at Christmas on the Square

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

ROCKINGHAM — Connor Beasley wanted it to be just so.

The 15-year-old Huntersville boy decided 90 minutes wasn’t quite enough time to finish his wood-burning paddle project inside the Arts Richmond building Saturday morning in downtown Rockingham. The rest of Christmas on the Square, he figured, would have to wait.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Connor Beasley, 14, of Huntersville, finishes up his wood-burning paddle at Arts Richmond.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Connor Beasley, 14, of Huntersville, finishes up his wood-burning paddle at Arts Richmond.

There was no waiting in line for the paddle project as there were only three participants — Connor himself, younger brother Owen and cousin Cameron McDonald. It was the first time Arts Richmond hosted the event, which resulted in Christmas gifts for family members or a keepsake. Arts Richmond volunteers assured onlookers it wouldn’t be the last.

There was quite a line, on the other hand, leading into the Richmond Community Theatre foyer. It wasn’t to get out of the steady rain showers that impacted the vendor and crowd turnout for the 18th annual Christmas on the Square, a six-hour festival centered around Harrington Square. Instead, it was to get a peek at — and perhaps a whisper into the left or right ear of — Santa Claus.

Inside the foyer, the North Pole’s most popular resident took requests and met dozens upon dozens of his adoring fans. By 12:30 p.m. Santa had met with more than 40 young people and had their photos taken.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Santa Claus was a top draw during the 18th annual Christmas on the Square in downtown Rockingham.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Santa Claus was a top draw during the 18th annual Christmas on the Square in downtown Rockingham.

Outside — under a series of canopies — the festival continued, though many commented on the lower-than-usual turnout. It was the second consecutive year weather has adversely impacted turnout for the event. Vendors began closed at about 3 p.m., an hour earlier than the slated conclusion. But those who chose to visit the festival had plenty of activities from which to choose.

One of the more popular activities involved the Richmond County Animal Advocates and the nonprofit organization’s pet-centered contest. Prizes were awarded for Cutest Pet, Best Dressed and Best Trick. The two-person judges panel included Rockingham Councilwoman Denise Sullivan and Rockingham Fire Department Leiut. Wayne McKinnon. The awards were won by Miss St. Claire, handled by Judith Adami; CoCo, handled by Stewart Tunstall; and Miss Roxie, handled by Sandra Chappell. Miss Roxie seemed to be a crowd favorite and certainly earned the most unsolicited accolades from spectators gathered around the sound stage.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Members of the Ellerbe Middle School choir performed on stage at Harrington Square in downtown Rockingham.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Members of the Ellerbe Middle School choir performed on stage at Harrington Square in downtown Rockingham.

Before and after the dog contest, a variety of groups and individuals used the stage, including the Ellerbe Middle School choir and J.A. Bolton, a farmer and regionally renowned storyteller and humorist.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com The award-winning CoCo checks out the paparazzi at Harrington Square.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
The award-winning CoCo checks out the paparazzi at Harrington Square.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com In between rain showers, pony rides were available for $3 apiece.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
In between rain showers, pony rides were available for $3 apiece.

 

 

Filed in: Arts & Entertainment, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News, Outdoors, Rockingham

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