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Arts festival ushers in Christmas season

Photo by Casey Case
Pop's Southern Cookin' set up on one corner of the McDonough Square, to prepare smoked chicken and ribs for last year's McDonough Arts 2009 event, held in conjunction with the Merchant's Open House.

Photo by Casey Case Pop's Southern Cookin' set up on one corner of the McDonough Square, to prepare smoked chicken and ribs for last year's McDonough Arts 2009 event, held in conjunction with the Merchant's Open House.

By Valerie Baldowski

vbaldowski@henryherald.com

McDonough Arts will kick off the Christmas holiday season with a Festival of the Arts on the McDonough Square.

A group of artists will sell their wares on The Square during the festival, which is scheduled for Nov. 14, from noon to 5 p.m., said Faye Meyer, a board member of McDonough Arts, and chairman of the festival.

The free event will be held in conjunction with the Merchants Holiday Open House, to encourage customers to shop on The Square, Meyer said.

"During open house on The Square, it allows artists to show, and sell, their art and their crafts, which make unique and one-of-a-kind gifts," she said. "The park is decorated, Santa makes his first stop, children create Christmas crafts, and everyone gets their first opportunity to feel the Christmas spirit."

The site for the activities will enhance the holiday spirit, said Nan Lee, another member of the board of McDonough Arts.

"[The Square] is a wonderful venue to hold a cultural event, especially at this festive time of year when the merchants are going to hold an open house," said Lee.

Homemade baked goods, hot cocoa and spiced cider will also be on sale during festival. On stage at 1 p.m., will be local vocalists, Danny Haddock, and special guest, Rose McCafferty. Also, the Liberty Players, an ensemble of local violin students, will perform under the direction of Jodi Hitt, said Meyer.

A "Children's Corner" will feature a table where youngsters can make Christmas crafts, and get their faces painted. Santa will arrive at 2 p.m. A photographer will be on hand to take photographs.

The festival is a way to generate foot traffic through the area, said Main Street McDonough Director Linda Schenk.

"It brings so many people downtown," said Schenk. "It gives the merchants a chance to show their merchandise to those who otherwise wouldn't come to The Square. It offers attendees a different taste in arts and crafts [that] we have locally."