By Kellen M. Quigley
Fans of Springville’s former Very Merry Main Street are in for a treat this year, as the annual holiday tradition will be held not once but on two consecutive Saturdays beginning this weekend.
The newly revitalized Very Merry Springville will continue the tradition of shopping at local stores in Springville for the Christmas season on Nov. 23 and 30, but will also include plenty of new activities this year.
“We have over 45 businesses and vendors involved,” said Debbie Hintz, executive director of the Springville Area Chamber of Commerce. “It will be one of the largest we’ve had with that many businesses and vendors involved, so that will be exciting.”
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Saturdays, Hintz said there will be Santa, elves, cookies and hot chocolate, ornament decorating and other activities inside the chamber office at the Lucy Bensley Center, which will be transformed into Santa’s Workshop and Elf Central.
“It’s going to be very cool, you have to stop in and see this,” she said. “We will have elves that will elf names and their own hashtags, so they’ll be out in the streets and in businesses getting their pictures taken with different folks. Then those pictures will be streamed back here to Elf Central here so people can come in and see the pictures or access them online.”
Also inside the chamber office, Hintz said they will be making a paper chain that people can put their names or a picture on strips of paper. Those strips will be laminated and then strung together as a community chain that will be hung on the Christmas tree during the lighting ceremony at noon on Nov. 23.
“I think making it an event will pique interest in bringing people into the town so then the businesses can benefit from that,” she said.
New this year, the Springville Chamber now heading up the event, Hintz said, after a longtime group that used to run it is no longer doing it. There’s also a name change. It’s not Very Merry Main Street, but Very Merry Springville because it’s the Springville Area Chamber of Commerce.
“I thought it would be a great place for the chamber to jump in and do something to build up the Springville area businesses,” she said. “We’re trying to build a Springville area-wide event based around the holidays.”
As part of the event, the chamber will have stamp cards for participants to visit some of the local businesses and vendors to stamp. At the end of the day, enter that filled-out card at the chamber and you’ll be eligible for a drawing for a $250 prize. A gift basket will also be given to a runner-up.
Also planned for the weekends are carolers coming and roaming the street and singing carols. Hintz said a group of independent musicians will going up and down the streets and in and out of businesses playing songs. A live nativity will also be put on by the Faith Baptist Church, she said.
“The chamber has organized getting Santa and the helpers and musicians and all that stuff,” she said. “We decided to reach out to some of the local businesses for volunteers … so we’re trying to pull from the community’s talents and utilize folks that way.”
Throughout the preparation process, Hintz said the response from the community concerning the changes have been very positive. She said there haven’t been any issues in getting things ready, including help with village departments with getting the lights up on Main Street.
“We were able to get a tree donated for our tree lighting, and the businesses have definitely stepped up and wanted to be involved and make it a great event,” she said.
In addition to helping bring in shoppers and have them see what Springville has for businesses, Hintz said it also brings the community together during this special time of year.
“You don’t get that when you’re ordering online,” she said. “It definitely brings that sense of community and gives them a place to show their talents, whether it be business or vendors or music or whatever. It’s a privilege to be able to help them bring this together and hopefully make this event go a lot farther in future years.”