The holiday season is wrought with tradition. From gift exchanges to spending time with loved ones to events, the holidays give us something to look forward to year after year.
And if you haven’t already, you should add A Starry Night – set for Thursday, Dec. 1 – to your list of events to attend.
The event is an opportunity for Five Points’ unique shops to shine.
“We encourage every business to do something individual and special to them,” said Amy Beth Franks, executive director of the Five Points Association. “We have a really great turnout of merchant participation.”
The Swept Yard, a high-end gardening and home store, will join the Five Points Salon and Fit Columbia to offer complimentary hot chocolate and wine in The Swept Yard courtyard.
Tripp’s Dry Cleaners will offer complimentary apple cider at the Five Points fountain, where a DJ will spin holiday tunes.
That’s not to mention all the one-night-only deals and discounts to be had.
“We will have a list at the main fountain with a little map listing everything that’s going on,” said Franks. “We’re trying to position things all over the neighborhood so people get moving. We want them to walk through the neighborhood, enjoy the lights we have in the trees, maybe visit our new fountain, experience new merchants that they may have never seen before and have a really nice time shopping locally.”
Franks said she is excited for what Fit Columbia has planned. The new gym and yoga studio on Blossom Street will not only have an open house but also free aerial yoga demonstrations.
“A lot of people think aerial yoga is only for young, fit girls,” said Angela Yong Sellers, owner of Fit Columbia. “But really, aerial yoga improves blood circulation; it helps combat aging because it really works with your lymphatic system, and you’re able to be mobile in ways that you couldn’t without that support. So aerial yoga can be used with every modality of body. And it’s really fun.”
Sellers said the silks used for the exercise remind her of beautiful Christmas trees.
“When I saw the Starry Night flier, there were all these pictures of ornaments and lights, and I thought this (demonstration) is a great complement,” she said.
Also new this year is Letters to Santa, where all the fixings for kids to write a letter to Santa will be available, along with a post office box on site for delivery to the North Pole. Or, if you want to save yourself some postage, you can just go sit on the jolly man’s lap and tell him what you want.
“I really believe in how we do this Santa setup because it’s the best for the parents,” said Franks. “You do not have to wait in line at the mall, and you do not have to pay. We will have Santa set up in this beautiful Santa display we do every year under the Hootie monument with ornaments and lights and presents and kids can come and sit on Santa’s lap ... And we have elves. And we will take the photos for the parents or they can take it themselves using their phones. It’s all about your child getting to experience Santa.”
The future for Starry Night is bright, its organizers say.
“With more businesses participating and new businesses moving into the area, we’re expanding the footprint of A Starry Night,” said Kelly Tabor, co-owner of Good for the Sole Shoes, who helped launch the event with Franks. “It’ll just get bigger, and we’ll add more components to it.”
Franks couldn’t agree more.
“It’s growing, and I can tell that by just seeing how many people are on the streets and along the the sidewalks,” she said. “You can really feel the energy in the neighborhood. I hope that people will come down, park and just stroll, shop, have dinner, have some wine and get in the holiday spirit.”
If you go
A Starry Night
WHEN: 4-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1
WHERE: Around Five Points
WORTH NOTING: In addition to retail discounts, you’ll find lots of entertainment, including a DJ spinning holiday tunes at the original Five Points fountain; visits with Santa; roaming performances by the Benedict Choral Group and Unbound Dance Company; and more.
COST: Free admission