THOMASVILLE — Reimagined Victorian Christmas' recent three-day event did not draw people just looking, but individuals doing serious shopping and dining, organizers said.
"People had record sales. Some even said they had better sales that on Black Friday last year before COVID," said Rhonda Foster, an organizer of the new Thomasville Downtown Merchants Alliance, Reimagined Victorian Christmas sponsor.
People were shopping by 10 a.m. last Thursday, Friday and Saturday, said Foster, co-owner of a downtown restaurant and lounge. Carolers entertained, and merchants were attired in Victorian costumes, she added.
Reimagined Victorian Christmas' first event was Saturday, Dec. 5. The last is this Saturday.
"People are coming back from weekend to weekend to shop for Christmas presents and to dine downtown," Foster said.
Local shoppers are joined by others from Tallahassee and Monticello in Florida, and Albany, Valdosta and Moultrie on weekdays. Weekends are bringing shoppers from even farther away.
The City of Thomasville's traditional Victorian Christmas was not held this year because of COVID-19 restrictions.
"We've been able to change mindsets," Foster said. "Downtown is open. Come and dine and shop."
Some downtown merchants raised money to buy turkeys for a Christmas meal at Rescue Mission Ministries. More money was raised than was needed. The excess money will go to Second Harvest.
Merchants are collecting non-perishable food throughout downtown for Second Harvest.
Among merchants participating in purchasing turkeys and gathering food to donate are:
• Onward Reserve
• You’re Maker
• Hubs and Hops
• Goldie’s on Broad
• Hare and the Hart
• AJ Moonspin
• Fuzzy Goat
• Godwin Jewelers
• Forever Retro
• At Home
• Al Dixon
• Adele Creative
• Interiors by Southern Heritage
"We are giving back to the community and blessing people who blessed us," Foster said.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820