Oxford community celebrates Country Christmas12/06/2021 06:55PM ● By Steven Hoffman
The sights and sounds of the season were everywhere in downtown Oxford on Dec. 3 as the community came together to celebrate a most festive Country Christmas—a joyous evening that featured lots of live holiday music, food, hayrides, and a visit from Santa himself. The shops and restaurants in the downtown were all festively decorated, and a large crowd came out to enjoy the small town charm and to share some good cheer.
It was a triumphant return for one of Oxford’s best and most popular events.
“This was one of our most missed events last year,” said Brian Dix, the executive director of Oxford Mainstreet, Inc. “It’s great that we can all come together again to celebrate what it means to be a community.”
The festivities didn’t officially get underway until five o’clock, but long before that people started arriving, eager to celebrate the arrival of the holiday season.
Families lined up at Coe Insurance Services so that their children could visit with Santa inside the business.
At shops like Pickled Pickles, guests could find unique, handcrafted gifts created by local artisans. On the side of the building, there was an impressive art installation featuring the artwork of local artist Vicki Vinton. The art installation is part of an ongoing outdoor gallery project in Oxford. Dave Eldreth, well known for his pottery, worked hard to have this new art installation ready in time for Country Christmas.
There were plenty of street vendors and food trucks, too.
The Christian Life Center and Crescendo Choir performed Christmas songs. A Live Nativity took place at the Oxford Presbyterian Church. The church also hosted the Ten Thousand Villages Gift Shop, which offers items handcrafted by skilled artisans from more than 33 countries. All the artisans receive a fair promise for their products, thanks to the initiative by Ten Thousand Villages.
At the Oxford Arts Alliance, guests shopped for Christmas gifts at the popular Artisan Gift Shoppe.
Oxford even welcomed a new business as Alluring Images celebrated its new location on Third Street with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
One of the highlights of the evening was the tree-lighting ceremony. A large crowd gathered around the town’s Christmas tree, which is situated near the intersection of Third Street and Locust Street. Oxford Mayor Phil Harris presided over the tree lighting, leading the crowd in a countdown from ten. When the count reached one, a switch was flipped and cheers rang out when the lights on the tree came on. In a peaceful moment, the Christian Life Center singers led the crowd in a performance of “Silent Night.”
Harris and Dix both thanked all the people who worked so hard to make the Country Christmas possible—this included the business owners, the sponsors, the performers, and all those who played a part in organizing and planning the event. The borough’s public works department worked tirelessly to make sure the downtown looked its best for the Christmas party, and members of the police officers and fire company made sure it was a safe event for everyone.