What a wonderful time it was in Brookville this weekend. As I walked along Main Street Friday night to grab a few photos of the many events taking place, I was pleasantly reminded of other Victorian Christmas celebrations when the streets came alive with people.
As I listened to singing groups and musicians, I watched the faces of those gathered to listen as well. They were caught up in this holiday moment, watching intently as carols were sung or trumpets sounded familiar carols along Main Street. String instruments provided holiday music in the lobby of the Jefferson County Courthouse.
The “living windows” also caused those strolling along the street to stop and watch for a while. People could be found in small groups along the sidewalks listening, watching or simply talking with friends and families.
On Saturday, the Jeffersonian Democrat once again was a stop on the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Wine Walk. As Jen Rhodes and I talked with people on the walk, it seemed that everyone was having a great time and finding some bargains in the stores as they waited in line to taste a sampling of wines. I heard the craft show was packed and parking was at a premium in town as more and more people arrived to participate in the weekend festivities.
Events such as this weekend’s reminds us just how lucky we are to have a viable downtown that has continued to thrive despite not having a shopping mall nearby. In the early 80s, the business community in this town was against a shopping mall coming into the area and I’d have to say I think that was a good decision. The shopping malls tended to pull businesses out of the downtown area but in recent decades those anchor stores such as Montgomery Wards and now Sears are closing their stores. Many malls sit empty as newer structures are built, moving toward a more “outlet” type of design.
Brookville, however, has retained its downtown. Maybe there is not the same variety of stores that existed here in the 80s, but people are still shopping downtown and eating downtown. I doubt the current selection of downtown retailers will be exactly the same 50 years from now because a “living” downtown will continue to change. There will hopefully still be retailers that have been here through generations from grandparent to grandchild as each guides the business within their own vision. There will also be those people who return to the area from whence they grew up and take on ownership of an area business, bringing it new life and purpose. And so the town changes but always by looking both forward and back.
This past weekend we looked back, back to Victorian times and to simple Christmas joys. As the end of the year draws nearer, we will look back on the past year to note what we’ve accomplished and forward to what the future and all its possibilities will bring. But the end of the year is not quite here and we have more celebrations to attend such as the one right here at the Jeffersonian Democrat. On Thursday, Dec. 13, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. we will be having an Open House. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be attending to enjoy some Christmas music and light refreshments. Children can have their pictures taken with Santa for free. As we celebrate next week, we also want to remember those in need in our community. For the entire week of Dec. 9, we will be collecting non-perishable food items at our office at 113 Main Street for the Brookville Food Pantry.
We invite the community to come celebrate the season with us and to help make sure people have food to eat this joyous holiday season.