Kathie Williams of Small Town Creations loves
Christmas. She loves everything about the holiday from the snow to
the decorations to the special activities and visits from Santa
Claus. For her, it may be an inherited trait as her grandfather
played Santa Clause in this community for many years he and loved
spending time with local children who whispered wishes in his ear.
This year, Santa is coming to Lincoln courtesy of a hefty donation
made in memory of William’s grandfather, William Doyle.
That love of Christmas has indeed started an avalanche in Lincoln,
as it was Williams who decided it was time to do something to make
the downtown area festive and special at Christmas time. The end
result, Lincoln is going to have a holiday experience for shoppers
and visitors that will rival those we see in our favorite Christmas
movies, starting with the Holiday Express Small Business Saturday
events on November 30th.
Williams takes zero credit for the Holiday Express. She said that
indeed, she did contact some of the business owners on the Lincoln
Square and asked them to come to a meeting to talk about Small
Business Saturday. But, the enthusiasm with which the topic was
addressed, and the level of involvement from several of those
business owners is what has fueled this movement and made it bigger
and better than even Williams could have imagined.
While she started the ball rolling, Williams points out local
merchants and business owners such as Lisa Drew at Sorrento’s
Pizzeria, Eileen Mullins at Sir Renna Tea, Ethan Hoinacki at Guest
House, and a number of others really got the ball in the air.
Williams said there is a group of 21 local businesses that will
participate in Small Business Saturday and the event will carry
through for at least a week afterward.
While the majority of the participating businesses will be around
the downtown square, not all of them are.
Around the square those participating include:
Other small businesses participating include:
Cindy’s Cottage – On Woodlawn next door to
Idle Hour – On Broadway Street west of the
Johnny’s Buy Sell & Trade – On Broadway west of
Lincoln Theater – On South Kickapoo Street south
of the square.
Pink Shutter – On North McLean north of the
Podbelsek Family Creations – 1028 Broadway Street
– about four to five blocks east of the square.
Renew Consignment – Take Pulaski street west of
the square and across the railroad tracks.
Activities on Small Business Saturday
Among the numerous activities on the Historic Downtown Square on
Small Business Saturday, November 30th, will be carriage rides
around the square, carolers, kiddie train ride, Elf on the Shelf,
and a passport stamp that could result in one lucky shopper winning
Williams explained that shoppers will receive a passport card with
all 21 participating businesses listed. When they shop at
participating business, customers can have their passport stamped at
the checkout counter.
Shoppers do not have to visit all 21 businesses, though it is hoped
that they do. They also do not have to visit all 21 businesses in
Williams said passport stamps will be given to
shoppers throughout the following week. When half of their card is
filled they can turn it in at Small Town Creations and the card will
become part of a drawing that will be held around December 9th
(exact date to be determined and announced later).
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Carolers will be located at various corners of the Logan County Courthouse
Square will add to the festive atmosphere of Small Business Saturday, November
30th. Williams said that right now they have solid commitments for carolers from
the Lincoln Community High School and Chester-East Lincoln Schools and have
invited others that they are hoping will respond positively soon.
In addition, the Zion Chimes will be performing at the Logan County Tourism
Bureau on Small Business Saturday at 11 a.m.
Also on display at the tourism bureau will be a collection of gingerbread
houses. Williams said that this idea came to her from a trip to Pennsylvania at
Christmas time. She said that she visited a gingerbread competition as a
spectator and was in awe of all the wonderful pieces of artwork she saw there.
She laughed and said, “I texted Seth (Mayor Seth Goodman) and said Lincoln could
do this! He texted me back and said go for it!” While she thought maybe she was
planting an idea for someone else, she also though that it was time for people
in Lincoln to put their money where their mouth is, so to speak, so she brought
it to the group and to Morgan Gleason at the Tourism Bureau and everyone was
enthused about the idea.
The plan is to solicit anyone and everyone who wishes to make a gingerbread
piece. All are welcome and encouraged to participate. And all will be accepted
from small simple pieces made by children to anything large and elaborate that
the gingerbread artist wishes to do.
The houses will be on display at the Tourism Bureau located in the beautifully
renovated Depot building, from November 30th thru December 6th.
Visitors will be invited to vote for their favorite pieces and trophies will be
presented to the people’s choice winners.
Contact Small Town Creations or the Tourism Bureau for further information.
Take in a free movie
Keeping to the ‘Express” theme, Williams said that the Lincoln Theater is going
to offer a free showing of the Polar Express on Small Business Saturday at 11
The free movie is an excellent opportunity to turn the day into an even more
special family event. Dads and kids can take in a movie while mom shops for
those special gifts that she would prefer no one see her buy. Or, after a
morning of shopping, even mom might want to take a break and join the family for
a movie. If grandma and grandpa are babysitting while the parents shop, then a
free movie provides perfect entertainment and an opportunity to make the day
special for them as well.
A time to spend with Santa
As mentioned earlier, Williams grandfather, the late William Doyle, played Santa
in Lincoln for many years. Upon his passing earlier this year, the family asked
that memorial donations be made to help support Santa visits in Lincoln. In July
of this year, Doyle’s daughter Helen Knecht presented the LCTB with a check for
$500 to help bring Santa to Lincoln.
Santa is always at the annual Christmas parade and visits with children after
the parade. This year though, Santa will be in town twice.
Children will be invited to visit with Santa from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 30th,
Small Business Saturday, at the Tourism Bureau office in the Depot.
Ride the kiddie train
On Saturday, Nov. 30th, there will be free horse and carriage rides and a barrel
train ride for children in downtown Lincoln.
Williams pursued one local option, but when that couldn’t happen for this year
the downtown group found the William Walter Barrel Train.
The train is a fundraiser for the Williams Walter Catch a Fish Day, and is from
Kathie Williams said that rides would be for a donation only, with no set price,
making it affordable for everyone. The money raised from the rides will go to
support a youth fishing program in the Taylorville area similar to the Nathan
Turner Fishing Derby held in Logan County each year.