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Chester County Press

Kennett Square merchants open up for a ‘Tinsel on the Town’

12/13/2022 12:10PM ● By Steven Hoffman

The Kennett Square merchants hosted an evening of shopping and Santa visits on Dec. 9 with “Tinsel on the Town.”

On Friday evening, promptly at 4 p.m. Kennett Square’s State Street became a mall for easy strolling with businesses opening their doors and greeting guests. The festivities continued well past the usual closing times for most merchants.

From Center Street on the west to Broad Street on the east, the sidewalks and streetlights were adorned with lights and decorations for the holiday season. Food and drinks were flowing, and parents of young children were shuttling their bundled offspring in strollers along the sidewalks to see Santa.

As the hours moved toward 6 and 7 p.m,  the crowds increased, but they were no rival for the thousands who showed up for the Tree Lighting parade on Black Friday, Nov. 25. Still, there was enough going on for visitors to find at least an hour’s worth of entertainment and buy a few bags of reasonably priced gifts.

Santa Claus, who was positioned with his wife in chairs at the corner of State and Union streets, said he had a healthy line of visitors coming along to share their wishes for most of the evening. He added he has been working at the downtown Creamery on Birch Street, which also has been hosting crowds, and his “dance card” is getting full.

He shared that he is from Delaware and has observed Kennett Square as “special” in the way it celebrates the holidays.

“Not many towns celebrate like this,” he said.

Among the destinations for those who were strolling cleared State Street, four places stood out:

Many folks from out of town stopped by The Mushroom Cap, which sells not only fresh and prepared mushrooms but the industry-related souvenirs. The shoppers seemed eager to browse, spend money and engage owner Kathi Lafferty with questions about the region.

Quite a few also stopped at Mrs. Robinson’s Tea Shop and its adjacent candy store. Mrs. Robinson outdid herself with electric trains in both of her front windows as well as a tree on display of her lifetime collection of ugly ornaments.

Little kids pressed their faces against the glass from the outside of Mrs. Robinson’s to watch the trains circle a miniature toy neighborhood. Their parents browsed inside, interested in the assortment of teas and other offerings that were for sale there.

Over at the corner next to La Verona restaurant the Work2gether business brought out the supply of locally made wines and was entertaining thirsty guests.

Down at the west end at Liberty Place Market, the crowd was heavy, and visitors were cheerfully and casually eating and drinking the offerings of the vendors there. It was a large center of conviviality.

Owner Larry Bosley looked over the crowd with satisfaction. “It’s Friday night, It’s always like this,” he said.

Kennett Square moves on to its next crowd pleaser on New Year’s Eve. At the center of town, the giant lighted mushroom will descend at midnight announcing the arrival of 2023. That event traditionally attracts large crowds, even when the weather is disagreeable.