Port Royal hopes holiday cheer boosts business, population

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Port Royal hopes holiday cheer boosts business, population


By JULIANN VACHON
jvachon@beaufortgazette.com
843-706-8184
Published Thursday, November 18, 2010   |  390 Words  |  

Port Royal merchants hope new holiday activities -- from a golf cart parade and home decoration contest to the opening of a Christmas tree lot -- will do more than just spread cheer.

"It's the first time the merchants' association has created several different opportunities to come down and visit the village," said Old Village Association member Ann-Marie Adams. "We're trying to draw attention to what a lifestyle in Port Royal is like."

That means more exposure for downtown businesses and a spotlight on homes available to buy or rent, Adams said.

The Old Village Association will throw a "Christmas Tree Party" from 5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 26 as it opens its first Christmas tree lot at 8th Street and Paris Avenue. Food, drinks and entertainment will be available. The association also will light a Christmas tree at Town Hall that night, Old Village Association chairwoman Nancy Harris Vista said.

The association will stock the lot with 100 Fraser fir trees. Proceeds will be used for town and Old Village Association events.

At 6 p.m. Dec. 1, families are invited to watch Santa arrive at Port Royal Elementary School, Vista said. The town and village association also will hold a tree lighting near the school that evening, Adams said.

Old Village residents can participate in a home-holiday decorating contest. Residents must register by Dec. 9 to be eligible for cash prizes, Vista said. The amount of the cash prizes had not been determined Thursday.

Winners will be announced Dec. 11 during the association's Christmas Golf Cart Parade, which will make its way down Paris Avenue at 5:30 p.m.

The Historic Port Royal Foundation will host a free, sit-down supper for as many as 72 people Dec. 9 at Union Church. The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m.

The activities are all about bringing people together, Old Village Association member Chris Rentz said.

"We're just trying to gather the community," Rentz said.

Port Royal Town Council awarded the Old Village Association $5,000 last month to help with holiday events this month and next.

"The merchants are having such a hard time, so we're trying to do what we can to stimulate business," Mayor Sam Murray said. "We want to get more foot traffic downtown."