Manchester prepares for old-fashioned open house

NEIGHBORS

November 24, 1993|By PAT BRODOWSKI

If you come to Manchester on Friday evening, you'll think you've stepped into a Christmas from long ago. Manchester celebrates its fourth Old Fashioned Christmas Open House from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

"We've had hundreds of people walking through town" in previous years, said Sharon Nizer, the Tin Rooster gift shop owner who is organizing this year's event.

"It's been a real small-town holiday atmosphere, everyone in real good spirits. For a real small town like Manchester, which closes up at 8 o'clock, it's real special."

A horse-drawn taxi will take you from Miller's Food Market to Sandy's Treat Shop and 12 shops scattered between.

Shopping by horse-drawn wagon is a traditional favorite, and it's free.

The shops that will be open that night will fly balloon bouquets. Inside, you can expect a treat or two. Each shop will offer refreshments and drawing for a door prize.

"We all do our own thing," said Mrs. Nizer.

You'll be able to spot Santa Claus happily strolling the streets, too, looking for children to visit.

The Manchester Open House is also called Black Friday.

This is a businessmen's term for the day after Thanksgiving, when spending for holiday pleasure begins in earnest.

It's the high point in the business calendar.

"Traditionally, businesses run in the red all year," Mrs. Nizer says.

"The Friday after Thanksgiving is the biggest day of the year, which is when businesses convert to running in the black," she reports.

"For me [at the Tin Rooster] it is. It is our biggest shopping day of the year."

Manchester's Open House began when the previous owner of Flowers in Harmony gave a candlelight open house.

"It's kind of mushroomed. It's all volunteer. We mutually agree on the advertising and so forth," said Mrs. Nizer.

In Manchester, you can shop a delightful array of shops featuring music and instruments, baseball cards and quality gifts with a country flair.

Or discover a tanning salon, or homemade meat products. Or flowers arranged just as you wanted. Or a new restaurant to try.

Black Friday is a day to sample the warmth of small-town holidays.

3' Information: Sharon Nizer 239-6155.

*

"We are one of the first Christmas shows. We usually have a lot crafts geared toward Christmas and the holiday season," said Hanna Stevens of the Hampstead Fire Auxiliary.

She's organizing the Arts and Craft Show, to be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Hampstead Fire Hall, 1341 N. Main St.

There will be more than 50 tables of crafts with plenty of room to fit baby strollers and to catch an eyeful.

"We have all kinds of crafters. It always amazes me what folks do," said Mrs. Stevens.

This year's show will include quilts to Barbie clothes, wooden toys and furniture, dried flowers, ceramics and "all kinds of stuffed bears and pigs and dolls, jewelry -- everything handcrafted, nothing purchased for resale."

There will be an hourly raffle. If you win, you choose one item from a table of crafts donated by the artisans in the show.

"We have food from the kitchen, barbecue and hot dogs, usually slices of pie and brownies, so you can stop and get your lunch," said Mrs. Stevens.

The food is homemade by the auxiliary.

"Hopefully, it will be a pretty day and lots of folks will be coming in," she said.

*

Saturday will bring the first Christmas trees to Hampstead. A field of the friendly firs will sprout at Robert's Field Shopping Center.

Cub Pack 790, which meets at Spring Garden Elementary, is selling them.

As they were last year, trees are $20 and have been harvested locally.

You'll find the Scouts at the tree lot near the Ace Hardware store from 5 to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends. The sale is to last until Dec. 19.

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