Downtown Sumner merchants will kick off the holiday season with their annual Hometown Holiday Celebration this weekend. The public event will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.
“It’s something to start your Christmas spirit kickoff,” said LuAnn Spencer, owner of Folkart Gatherings, a specialty shop that sells seasonal and everyday gifts and decorations.
Spencer described the Hometown Holiday Celebration as a sort of retail holiday merchandise open house. Some retailers may offer discounts or prizes, she said, but it’s up to each merchant.
“For my store, I serve cider and a snack or treat,” Spencer said. “Everybody does something different. Some stores do nothing, and some stores do more.”
Hometown Holiday Celebration has been an annual event for more than five years.
“It’s starting to become part of a tradition,” Spencer said.
Merchants that have purchased “live window” space from Sumner’s ManeStage Theatre Company will feature live re-enactments of iconic Norman Rockwell holiday-themed art. An original copy of the chosen image will be on display next to the actors’ re-enactment.
The theater will use its own set pieces and costumes for the windows.
The Sumner Downtown Association requested ManeStage to help with the Hometown Holiday Celebration. It will be the theater company’s second year participating.
Many of the actors are new to the “live windows” production this year.
“A lot of our alumni came out and went shopping and saw it last year,” said Brenda Henson, ManeStage’s executive director. “They really enjoyed it.”
The live windows will be showcased from 1 to 3 p.m. ManeStage also will present its Dickens’ Carolers from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. The carolers are featured in every Christmas musical the company produces and will wear costumes for the occasion.
All ManeStage actors are children and adults who live in the Sumner area. The company is a nonprofit organization that consists of community volunteers.Elsy Pawelak is a freelance reporter for the Herald.