Our Holiday Village Could Star In A Hallmark Christmas Movie!
Over the past three years, our Main Street program has made great strides in developing important partnerships to enhance numerous community engagement efforts. The proof of this can be best demonstrated in the success of last weekend's Gingerbread Walk.
The unity between OC Parks and Rec, The Arts Center in Orange and ODA/LOVe resulted in 13 wonderful Gingerbread House entries! And, the unity between our businesses to provide beautiful storefront settings to showcase the entries was fantastic! If you've not been in town to vote for these clever, cute and creative displays, please do so. The contest runs through December 20. The winners will be announced before Christmas!
It was against this backdrop of creativity that we conducted the second annual Gingerbread Walk. The "signature" event of our month-long "Holiday Village" marketing campaign, the Gingerbread Walk created a wonderful unity between the Town, our merchants, our churches, our citizens and our Main Street program -- from the spellbinding array of twinkling lights and tidied-up flower beds to the gorgeous seasonal window displays created by our talented business owners, to the open door activities of our family churches, to the friendly "Welcome to Orange" smiles and waves of our citizens, to the efforts of our many Volunteers to deliver a day filled with family-focused fun and entertainment -- it was a perfect Holiday Village scene!
I'm particularly happy to report that our collective efforts gained press attention. Travel Awaits, a Blog that serves the 50+ traveler and shares the world’s unique, hidden and once in a lifetime locations that create unforgettable memories, featured Orange in their 8 Quaint Virginia Towns That Could Star In A Hallmark Christmas Movie article written by seasoned travel writer Robin O'Neal Smith! Click on the title above to read the entire article (note: Middleburg beat us out for the top spot, but we'll settle for the number 2 listing. And, although we couldn't quite pull off the carriage ride this year as planned, just wait 'til next year!).
The list of Volunteer "thank you's" for making our Gingerbread Walk -- and the entire Holiday Village theme, in general, such a resounding success is long: Jes Cifazzari and Paint it Orange! for providing the wonderful arts and crafts at Santa's Workshop in the Train Station; Chief Parenteau, Patrick Bowman and these cadets of the OCHS JROTC Montpelier Battalion -- Johnathan Marshall, Dakota Booth, Landon Branham, Bailey Gilbert, Dylan Jenkins and Christian Kowasic -- who served as wonderful guides and helpers; Mary Sommar and her outstanding team from the OCHS Fine Arts Boosters who provided coffee, cocoa and gingerbread cookies to our guests AND Orange County Coffee Roasters from donating the coffee and equipment; Oletha Braxton for her angelic voice and willingness to share it so beautifully; Pat Filer, Pam Jaske and Kim Jaske for creating the gorgeous streetscape planters that are worthy of a segment on HGTV; Grelen Nursery for the generous amount of materials used to create the planters (it takes a lot to fill those 11 large and 18 smaller planters!); Darnell's Garden Patch for preparing the planters for the designers and providing such beautiful boxwood; James Madison Museum of Orange County Heritage for providing the antique sleigh and Madison Family frame for holiday memory "photo-ops;" Patrick McAloon for his logistical assistance throughout the day; Casey Cashell for capturing the day's highlights with such beautiful photographic artistry; and last but not least, McKenna Deal and Sydney Kluczyk -- our very own Orange Holiday Elves "Oda" and "Ella" -- whose smiles were infectious and whose enthusiasm set the perfect joyful tone for this event.
And finally, a special "shout out" to Galen Greenlaw and the OEI Events team for their terrific logistical support in creating so much holiday magic; the Fort Hill Brass Trio for their wonderful performances in Taylor Park, JB Cakes for the delicious gingerbread cookies and Chester Herring for his jolly "ho, ho, ho" as you-know-who! And deepest appreciation to Mason Insurance Agency for their generous funding support.
Happy holidays -- shop local!
Charlotte Cole, Executive Director
Clockwise from top left: Orange Holiday Elves Oda (McKenna Deal) and Ella (Sydney Kluczyk) vote for their favorite Gingerbread House entry; COVID-safe refreshments at Finder's Keepers; Paint it Orange! Owner Jes Cifazzari and Santa at his Train Station Workshop; our beautiful LOVEworks sign all decked out for the holidays; one of 13 fabulous Gingerbread House entries; Father Christmas visiting the Holiday Traditions pop-up shop; family "one horse open sleigh" photo-op setting at Taylor Park; another of the 13 fabulous Gingerbread House Contest entries.
Timeless. Treasured. Traditions.
Check out these Wonderful Gift Ideas from your Local Merchants!
It's the most wonderful time of the year to shop in Orange! Our shops have pulled out all the stops to offer you thoughtful, endearing gifts to please everyone on your list. Here's the first installment of our "Holiday Gift Guide." Ready, set, shop 'til you drop in Orange!
Gifts for Her
From Palmetto Posh -- Katherine's Collection Fancy Fish ornaments (4 available)
From the James Madison Museum -- "Votes for Women" Commemorative Tote or Holiday Ornament
From Finder's Keepers -- Fine Jewelry (Gold, Silver, Platinum, Gemstones) and Costume Jewelry
From Spelled Ink -- Bookish Prism Necklaces (hand-cast resin prisms embedded with specially-selected book-phrases)
From Lacy's Florist and Gifts -- Fabulous bath salts and body creme from Virginia Aromatics (wide variety of scents)
Gifts for Him
From Palmetto Posh -- Guinness Pub Glasses
From the James Madison Museum -- Red or Blue Silk "Constitution" Tie
From Finder's Keepers -- Framed Labrador Retriever Hunt Theme Art
From Spelled Ink -- Shot Glass Beer Candles (genuine, reusable shot glasses filled with beer-scented soy candles)
From Lacy's Florist and Gifts -- "Dad" shaving mug, boar bristle soap brush and fabulous shaving soaps
Gifts for Kids
From Palmetto Posh -- Elf on the Shelf wooden puzzle set
From the James Madison Museum -- Family Tree Parchment Kit
From Finder's Keepers -- Hallmark Musical Animated Plush Snowman
From Spelled Ink -- Mystery Book Box (each pre-wrapped box comes with one of our ever-popular "Mystery Date With A Book" and assorted goodies)
From Lacy's Florist and Gifts -- Gnome charm earrings (her), sports team flag (him)
Gifts for Teachers
From Palmetto Posh -- Work With Me People wooden wall decor
From the James Madison Museum -- "Virginia" themed hand-crafted Chocolate Covered Caramels
From Finder's Keepers -- Vintage Hallmark Ornaments (New in box)
From Spelled Ink -- Metal Bookmarks (each uniquely decorated with a variety of charms, including anime, metal, and handmade polymer clay)
From Lacy's Florist and Gifts -- Virginia Aromatics "Caribbean Teak" candle
Gifts from Secret Santa
From Palmetto Posh -- Sock Monkey mug
From the James Madison Museum -- "Love Virginia" 16 oz. Travel Mug
From Finder's Keepers -- Vintage Blown Glass Paperweights
From Spelled Ink -- Mystery Date With A Book (A book in the genre of your choice, wrapped and decorated, with a few clues to entice your favorite book lover)
From Lacy's Florist and Gifts -- keepsake ceramic cardinals
Watch for more great holiday gift ideas coming next week!
Clockwise from top left: Parchment Family tree from the James Madison Museum of Orange County Heritage; Sock Monkey Mug from Palmetto Posh; Silver, gold -- old, new fine jewelry from Finder's Keepers; Pub glasses (Guinness) from Palmetto Posh; Votes for Women ornament from the James Madison Museum of Orange County Heritage; shaving set for Dad from Lacy's Florist and Gifts; Hand-cast resin prism pendants from Spelled Ink; Framed art -- Labrador Pups from Finder's Keepers; Gnome earrings from Lacy's Florist and Gifts. Shop local this holiday season!
Join Your Friends and Neighbors -- Become an ODA/LOVe Supporter!
Support ODA/LOVe! Your $50 contribution will help us advance Orange's Main Street program -- foster more economic vitality, enhance our streetscapes, create and conduct more community events. Show the LOVe -- click here to donate! Thank you!