Last year's Trenton City float--photo courtesy of the Dade Chamber of Commerce
This Saturday, Dec. 10, is Dade County's big Christmas celebration day, and the Dade Chamber of Commerce is encouraging everyone to turn out for holiday fun downtown.
"We're hoping people will come to Trenton, stay in Trenton to shop, go out and eat, go to the parade and just spend the day," said Dade Discount Days organizer Nathan Wooten, speaking last week at the Dade County Commission's December meeting.
Saturday events begin with the Dade Small Business Expo, which opens at 10 a.m., and culminates in the annual Christmas parade, which begins at 6 p.m. The day also marks the kickoff of the second annual Dade Discount Days, when local merchants encourage local spending with gift certificates, prizes and giveways.
"It's going to be a big day," said Wooten.
First of all, the Small Business Expo: This will be from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in the gym of Dade High School, where the Chamber has enlisted some 50 small businesses whose local owners hope you will spend some of your Christmas shopping allowance on their products. Wooten says they'll be selling everything from clothing to Tupperware, and on tap will be food vendors, face painting and the Fat Man in Red himself to entertain the young 'uns. Admittance is free.
A new Trenton antique store, Peddlers on Main, opened last week, just in time for the Christmas season.
At the Expo, participants may register for prizes and giveaways, and during the Dade Discount Days to follow, shoppers may also register for these as they visit local retailers. "We have collected probably $3-4000 worth of gift certificates from local businesses, everything from restaurants to Handyman Salvage to Factory Connection," said Wooten.
Wooten said the larger prizes, which include a gas grill from Case Hardware, a recliner from Gross Furniture, three tandem flights from Lookout Flight Park and two tickets to the Talladega Speedway, will be given away on Dec. 23 at an event aired on local television.
The idea is to encourage local shopping, support the local merchants, keep money in the local economy and add to local tax revenues.
Christmas in the Park starts at 4:30 p.m. in the Trenton town square, where visitors have a second shot at pics with Santa--bring your own camera, says the Chamber--and there will be vendor booths as well as cocoa and free hot dogs. The Chamber hopes people will gather here to watch the Christmas parade, which begins at 6 p.m.
TVN's Audrey Clark briefs her army of trusties on the old courthouse steps before they set forth to decorate the town square.
And while they're doing that, the Dade County Public Library hopes they'll wander across the square to drop in. The library, which is usually only open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays, will reopen at 5 p.m. and stay open until 7:30 p.m. to join the festivities.
Featured this year is the library's free "Tech Petting Zoo." The library will have on hand a goodly selection of the latest electronic gadgets and gizmos, and patrons are encouraged to try them out hands-on at the library before heading to retailers to buy them. Included among the "pettables" are examples of the Makey Makey, iPad Air, iPad Pro with pen, Surface Pro, Ott Lite, Code-a-Pillar, Wacom Tablet, Cricut Explore Air and much more.
Less materialistically, the library is also collecting video footage for its "live history" project of Dade County. If you have a story to tell about the old days, the library encourages you to come by and get it on the record.
Finally, the Christmas parade begins at 6 p.m. Lineup for the parade is at 5 p.m. at
North Industrial Road, and Valerie Painter of the Chamber says you still have time to get your float in. "Just show up," she said. This year the parade will proceed past the square and wind up at Case Hardware's new building on Highway 11 South.
All events are free of charge, and all give residents a chance to participate in their community and enjoy the perks of living at the throbbing epicenter of the known universe. The Dade Chamber invites all to come on down!