Just in Time for the Holidays

A season of Thanksgiving...

I've not taken time to share with you some "behind the scenes" activity that has made an important impact on our Main Street program, and on Orange as a whole.

Over the past few years, an important collaboration has developed among those of us who work in "economic vitality" -- Orange County Economic Development (OCED) Director Rose Deal, Orange County Tourism Director Lori Landes-Carter, Orange County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Deanne Marshall and me. Rose, Lori and Deanne have a far larger geographic scope of responsibility than do I, but they have been more than willing and able to support the revitalization of Orange's Main Street program because, as the county seat, stakeholders within the jurisdiction are their stakeholders, too.

Some recent examples of these collaborations include:

  • The Orange Commercial Main Street District Retail Study was made possible because Rose/OCED was a co-sponsor.

  • The current Charlottesville Guide print and digital advertising campaign is being made possible through a partnership with Lori/OC Tourism.

  • And, the appearance of an exciting holiday "pop-up" shop happened because Deanne/OC Chamber received a call from a prospective vendor, knew our program was recruiting such businesses, and sent the vendor our way.

We each share a "win-win" attitude toward economic vitality. And, we recognize each other's strengths, and understand and respect each other's boundaries.

The results of this collaboration are evident. Economic development throughout the County is surging. Tourism to Orange and OC is surging. Membership in and business support of the Chamber is surging. And, Orange's Main Street preservation-based economic development and placemaking program is surging.

Probably the most famous of anthropologist Margaret Mead's quotes is, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

While clearly, we're not out to change the world, we're each committed to working as hard as we can -- individually and collectively -- to foster economic vitality in Orange and Orange County.

This Thanksgiving, I'm very thankful to be in the company of such selfless, capable women. They have taught me a lot and helped me guide our program.

From all of us at LOVEOrangeVirginia, we wish you a happy, healthy Thanksgiving, and look forward to celebrating the wonder and merriment of the coming holiday season -- Charlotte Cole, Executive Director


It's Beginning to Look alot like Christmas...Reminders

Saturday, November 20 from 10 am - 5 pm, 113 E. Main Street. Featuring handmade Christmas wreaths, new and vintage ornaments and decor, holiday attire and more! Get a head start on your holiday gift list! There's so much to see (and buy!)

Yes, all of that activity at 118 E. Main Street, across from Palmetto Posh, has been Holiday Elves working feverishly to get things ready for this holiday pop-up shop to open!

And, open it shall tomorrow at 9am, featuring an astonishing array of beautifully-curated trees, wreaths, swags, ornaments, and gorgeous holiday decorating elements!

But that's not all -- Teaghlaigh Vineyards will offer tastings of their delicious and popular "Son of a Bear" ciders, and there will be luxurious, organic goat milk soaps and splendid hand-poured candles from Odd Farm Gifts.

Decorating, celebrating, toasting, swilling, stocking-stuffing and Secret-Santa-ing...all in one beautiful and elegant holiday pop-up shop! We know you Just. Can't. Wait!!

Operating hours through Christmas Eve are:

Thursdays: 10AM to 6PM

Fridays: 10AM to 8PM

Saturdays: 9AM to 8PM

Sundays: 9AM to 4PM

As you consider your gift-giving options for the holidays, remember that LOCAL is the way to go. We have so many wonderful shopping options in Orange...get out and discover them! You'll be surprised at what you've been missing.

When you shop local, you support your friends, family and neighbors whose entrepreneurial endeavors can only exist through your patronage. So, Keep it Local, Keep it Orange -- and watch for our upcoming Holiday catalogue, showcasing gifts for him, gifts for her and gifts for everyone on your list! Ho, ho, ho!