Baskets are filled with magnolia greens, ribbons and sparkling balls.
Trees are blanketed with crisp Christmas lights.
Storefronts are filling with poinsettias, trees and sleighs.
And downtown Milford is ready to welcome the holidays with its kick-off event, the eighth annual Holiday Stroll, held this Friday evening from 5 to 8 p.m.
The event is not only a way to welcome the holiday season, but also an opportunity for local businesses, merchants and artisans to display what they have available both seasonally and year-round.
“It’s to bring the community downtown and shop and enjoy the downtown area and the festive period,” said Downtown Milford, Inc. Executive Director Lee Nelson. “The event has been going on for eight years and it’s very popular with merchants, residents and the community in general. It’s just a wonderful experience.”
The event, which is hosted by Downtown Milford, Inc., encourages participating merchants to offer holiday deals, discounts, kid’s activities and light refreshments for those who brave the chill of a December night to stroll Milford’s downtown.
Of course there’s also entertainment, including free horse-drawn carriage rides for the family starting at City Hall, Santa in his Santa House and horses from the Delmarva Miniature Horse Club for the kids to pet before or after meeting Santa. Musical entertainment will include caroling by Old Mill Four, the Back Swing Quartet, St. John’s Church Choir, Reformation Lutheran Church Carolers and the First State Harmonettes.
While the event is intended to bring people downtown, event chairwoman Pat Sparks said it also brings people together by working as a community to host the event successfully.
About 35 volunteers have already pitched in to help, but DMI still needs at least six more adults to help ensure the safety of those strolling downtown.
“The event is designed to bring the community together in a relaxed atmosphere, which is why it’s a no-charge event and businesses can participate in whatever way they want,” Sparks said. “This is an event for the community, but it only happens with community involvement. It’s great to come out and stroll, but we also need people to give us an hour to make it happen.”
To volunteer or to get a copy of the Holiday Stroll 2013 guide, call DMI at (302) 839-1180 or click on the “Holiday Stroll 2013” tab at downtownmilford.org.