Although the calendar still read November, it certainly felt a lot like Christmas in downtown Fremont on Saturday.
The sights and sounds of the holiday season filled the Main Street corridor as carolers, Christmas trees and even a few of Santa’s reindeer could be found throughout the downtown area.
What brought all the festive cheer to the Historic Downtown Fremont District was MainStreet of Fremont’s Annual Christmas Walk.
The event was designed as a way to bring families, already celebrating Thanksgiving together, downtown to kick off the season and to get their holiday shopping done at various locally owned businesses.
“The Christmas Walk itself was designed to be a great way to kick off the holiday season in Downtown Fremont,” said Shannon Mullen, executive director of MainStreet of Fremont during a previous interview with the Tribune. “In the days of crazy Black Friday shopping and all the other activities going on, it was a great way for us to come together as a community. Soon it became a normal, year-after-year Christmas tradition that harnessed community and holiday spirit.”
After being held on Black Friday for a number of years, this year’s event was moved to Saturday the 25th to avoid competing with the Nebraska Cornhusker football game, and to allow the festivities to run throughout the day.
With the change from Friday to Saturday, downtown businesses featured a variety of Christmas-themed events and shopping deals from morning until night.
Wise Olde Owl Gift Shop, 439 N. Main Street, was packed with customers trying to find the perfect Christmas gift; from candles and jewelry to Husker decorations and wine accessories.
“We’ve been packed,” said Brian Siel, co-owner of the shop on Saturday. “We’re offering different deals all day and we’ve got bread and dips for people to try, as well as cider and hot tea.”
At Cornerline Gallery, 453 N. Main Street, children had an opportunity to make their own Christmas tree ornaments and enjoy free cookies as parents perused the art gallery’s offerings.
“A lot of people are discovering us for the first time, which is always a good thing,” said Polly Jensen, owner and founder at Cornerline.
According to Jensen, although she was reticent of the change from Friday to Saturday at first, the new schedule allowed her to get the kids involved in the festivities.
“I wasn’t sure when they switched it because we really enjoyed it last year, but having it during the day has turned out great,” she said on Saturday. “Having it throughout the day, there is more we can do for the kids, and it is just a beautiful day out which always make a difference.”
Although the event does have the focus, and intent, of getting residents downtown to shop at local businesses, it is the fun Christmas-themed activities that really draw the crowds every year.
One Christmas-themed attraction that brought families to the area was a pair of Santa’s reindeer at the corner of 6th Street and Park Avenue.
The reindeer, named Comet and Cupid, ate a mixture of oats, minerals, and deer antlers (which helps to grow their own sets) as they were attached to Santa’s sled and available for pictures from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside of Gallery 92 West.
“We had to go all the way to the North Pole to get them,” Rod Gross, owner of Gross Belgians out of Lincoln, joked about his reindeer.