By TORIE DIMARTILE – STAFF WRITER
With the first snowfall dusting the campus white this November, it’s easy to see that the holiday season is just around the corner. As students work hard on campus finalizing projects and preparing for big tests, Centre and the surrounding Danville community are getting ready to jingle all the way to Christmas with winter festivities and events.
Downtown businesses and organizations are already decking their halls in preparation for the holidays, including the Community Arts Center located on Main Street.
“The Community Arts Center offers classes, events, and exhibits throughout the year that nurture the arts and foster creativity in our community, and the winter holidays are certainly no exception,” Marketing Director Chelsea Compton said.
If you’re craving the beauty of evergreen trees and the familiar twinkle of lights found in many homes during the season, stop by the Arts Center starting Nov. 20 for the opening of the “Trees of the Season” exhibit. This exhibit, “transforms our Grand Hall into a winter wonderland of trees, wreaths and lights. Individual trees are decorated in different themes by community members, groups and businesses,” Compton said. Admission is free, and the exhibit is open Wed.- Fri., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.., and Sat. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m..
If you are looking for a way to express your love for Christmas through your art, check out the Community Arts Center’s nights of painting. “Starry Night Studios are a social painting experience,” Compton said. “These are one-time classes where an instructor leads a group of people in creating the same painting.”
A background in painting is not needed, as the instructors walks students through step by step, and paints, canvas, brushes are provided. “It’s a really casual and fun atmosphere,” Compton said.
Centre students who register online with the promo code “CENTRE” can get $10 off the usual $25 price for the Starry Night Studios.
The holiday-themed paintings planned for this holiday season are Little Town of Bethlehem on Nov. 19, a Snowman on Dec. 3, and Holiday Bauble on Dec. 17. Starry Night Studios is a great way to take a break from school and enjoy the merriment of the season with a group of friends.
The Heart of Danville, a group devoted to furthering economic growth in Danville, supporting downtown business, and fostering the life of our small town, is indulging in the holiday spirit as well, as winter quickly approaches. “The Downtown Danville Holiday Open House will be Nov. 22-23,” Heart of Danville Event Planner and Administrative Assistant Missy Angolia said. “Participating downtown businesses will be offering sales, promotions, and delicious treats to get the holiday shopping season started with a bang!”
Some of the participating businesses include Clothes Horse, Danville Bike and Footwear, Derby Shoppe and Raggs, Genesis Salon, Thoroughbred Threads, and V the Market.
“On Saturday of the Holiday Open House, Centre’s a capella singing group Common Time will be performing in some of our downtown businesses,” Angolia said.
If you’re far from home and in need of some Christmas celebrations to get yourself in the jolly spirit this season don’t miss out on a special Danville tradition downtown. “On Dec. 7, the Danville Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. in Weisiger Park,” Angolia said, “followed by the Mayor’s Reception at the Community Arts Center. All are invited to attend. The Danville Christmas Parade will begin at 7 p.m. on Main Street, and this year’s theme is “Christmas Around the World.” The Danville Fire Department is also hosting a toy drive and chili supper the same evening, prior to and after the parade, and all are encouraged to bring a toy or donation that will go directly to Boyle County children in need.”
On campus, don’t forget to keep up with the changing menu items at the Every Day Café and Jazzman’s Hall of Fame Café, both of which offer warm drink treats to satisfy your sweet tooth. At the Every Day Café there will be a few new coffee options that will tempt your seasonal taste buds. “We have our Christmas blend coffee which only comes during Christmas,” Supervisor of Retail Roberta Wheat said. The Christmas Blend in particular is a sweet and spicy blend that is sure to hit the spot if you’re looking for a unique and full-flavored coffee option. “We [also] have our peppermint lattes, gingerbread lattés, and peppermint mochas as well,” Wheat said. And don’t forget to pick up a slice of the Everyday Café’s homemade pumpkin pie.
So, grab a gingerbread latte from the grill and enjoy the lights and livelihood of the festive events hosted by the Community Arts Center and the Heart of Danville this holiday season.