Downtown business owners reflect on Holly Jolly after cancellation last year
Black Mountain hosted Holly Jolly, the town's annual downtown Christmas market, on Dec. 3 along Cherry Street.
"The whole Holly Jolly event, the holiday season here, it's one of the things that makes Black Mountain particularly special," said Randy Giles, the owner of BAD Craft.
Roughly 300 people attended the holiday market. The event included performances from the BMCA dance team as well as the Owen High dance team, music from the high school's band members, shops open late and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Giles said he didn't feel that this year's Holly Jolly was quite as busy as in years past. He said he still saw a lot of people out and about but there wasn't the typical mild mayhem he's used to seeing.
This year marked the fourth Holly Jolly for Giles' business. Although a shop like BAD Craft doesn't conduct as much retail as others in the area, mainly offering beer and baked goods, Giles said there didn't seem to be as much shopping as usual in the area.
"This was still a lot of people and everyone had a really good time and a lot of fun but it wasn't almost overwhelming like maybe years past," Giles said.
BAD Craft set up a gift wrapping station out front but Giles said it didn't see much action.
Owner of the Curiosity Shoppe, Chelsea Morning, expressed her appreciation for having the event back after its cancellation last year.
"It was great," echoed Susanne Blumer, the owner of Sassafras on Sutton. "So nice to have it back. It's a beloved event in town."
For the Curiosity Shoppe, Morning said the evening started slow, but once Holly Jolly was in full swing, shoppers came and went nonstop. Morning celebrated nine years in business in November and has participated in seven Holly Jollys.
Similarly, Sassafras experienced a high volume of customers, staying open nearly three hours later than a typical Friday night. Blumer said her impression was the crowd was mostly made up of locals.
Blumer's shop has been open for three Holly Jolly events. Due to the high volume of patrons this year, Blumer said it was difficult to even move through the small space.
The shop owners agreed a consistent flow of people patronized the various businesses in the downtown area until things began to slow down around 9 p.m.
"I think the town did a great job," Blumer said. "I thought it was a really big success."