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Thousands attend Christmas fest

Festival highlights ‘small-town living at its best’

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KENLY — With the weather fully cooperating and people seeming to be in the holiday spirit, thousands of visitors gathered on Saturday for the second edition of Christmas on Main. Event organizers and attendees hailed the Kenly Area Chamber of Commerce-sponsored extravaganza as a success.

“The crowd exceeded our expectations,” said event Chairwoman Janie Holland. “We were blessed with great weather and the entertainment was awesome.”

Holland said the touch-a-truck station where participants were able to get up-close and personal with Kenly’s fire trucks and police cars along with Holland Farms tractors and Duke Energy’s specialty trucks was a big hit.

Also drawing praise was the live Nativity scene that featured animals the kids could touch.

People said the live Nativity was very meaningful,” said George Arant, one of the station’s organizers.

Other favorites included Santa’s workshop, a For the Love of Dogs pet adoption booth, free face-painting for the kids, life-size mascots Smokey the Bear and Muddy the Mudcat and the Kenly Fire Department’s PJs and Pancakes breakfast.

Various performers throughout the day kept things hopping at the downtown stage on Main Street.

“This is good,” said a smiling Kenly Town Manager Michael Douglas, who was standing near the entertainment stage and was experiencing his first Christmas on Main as he took pictures of things happening around him.

“It is good any time we can get the community together like this,” said Kenly 95 Petro general manager Ernie Brame, who was one of the visitors on Saturday.

On Friday evening prior to the downtown action on Saturday, the Tobacco Farm Life Museum was also open for visitors as part of the weekend festivities.

“Christmas on Main is designed to provide visitors a chance to experience small-town living at its best,” said Kenly Area Chamber of Commerce President Kathy Forbes.

“We plan to expand the event next year,” said Holland. “Most of the vendors were successful and said they wanted to return. It was a great day in Kenly.”

The annual Kenly Christmas Parade is scheduled for 7 p.m. this Thursday.