Kids can meet Santa and Mrs. Claus on Main Street Saturday following BURMA scavenger hunt

BUCKHANNON – December 25 is fast-approaching and the time for kids to participate in the “Christmas Around the World” activities in downtown Buckhannon is waning.

Did you know Saturday, Dec. 12, is the last day participants can turn in their ‘Christmas Around the World’ activity sheet at Christmas Headquarters at 56 East Main Street, next to Dairy Queen?

The Buckhannon-Upshur Retail Merchants Association partnered with the City of Buckhannon and 12 local shops to bring different cultures – and plenty of Christmas spirit – to Main Street.

BURMA member Jerry Henderson said they wanted to give the community an activity to enjoy, help small businesses and bring different cultures together.

“BURMA took on the task of trying to create an activity downtown for the public to let them know small businesses are still alive and well on Main Street, and we welcome them to come and shop,” Henderson said. “This is also a depressing time when you can’t do the normal things that you would do this season, so we were looking at two things we had to do: We had to make it interesting and fun and then we had to make it COVID compatible.”

Austria will be featured at Sweet-A-Licious, Brazil at Fortify Wealth Management/Ameriprise Financial Services, Canada at Anderegg Jewelers, Denmark at Mountain Lakes Insurance Agency, France at the Sprint store, Germany at Trump’s Salon, Ireland at Stone Tower Brews, Netherlands at Tateep Unique Boutique, Philippines at Just Cuttin’ Up , Poland at Jesterline Gaming Technologies, Russia at First Community Bank, and Spain will be on display at Mama Roma’s Restaurant.

Henderson explained how the activities work.

“We came up with two activities, and one is a scavenger hunt,” she said. “The scavenger hunt involves the child picking up a scavenger hunt form at one of the participating businesses or at Christmas headquarters and then they walk up and down one side of Main Street and up and down the other, and hidden someplace on each one of the poles, is a small symbol that has something that relates to that country.”

“They will find that same symbol on their sheet, so underneath that symbol on their entry sheet, they list the country that celebrates that, and on which pole it was found, so if it were an angel and that was indicative of France, they would write France underneath it because that’s the French pole that they found it on,” she continued.

The sheet also has a cryptogram on the top half of the sheet for participants to solve.

“The child brings the form back to the Christmas Headquarters, which is next to Dairy Queen, and Saturday’s the last day, so sometime between now and Saturday, they need to come downtown pick up their form, walk around the street fill them out, bring them down to the headquarters from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday,” Henderson said. “Santa will be there, and they will go in and they will put their entry forms in the boxes that are allocated for that.”

Adults may also pick up a punch card at the participating stores, visit each of the 12 stores and turn in the punch card to be entered into a drawing. Winners will be announced Dec. 18.

“Santa is there, Mrs. Claus is there and we’re socially distancing – Santa does not hold the children on his lap. Instead, we have a chair placed in front of him,” Henderson said. “We are down in front of the headquarters asking people to maintain a six-foot distance, so if we get several people at one time, they know that only that one family can go in at any one time.”

Christmas Headquarters will offer cookies, cakes, hot chocolate, tea and apple cider for visitors.

“It’s nice to come in, just take a little break, get a little something, and then continue your shopping,” Henderson said. “We’d also like to thank the Fred Brooks Garden Club for decorating the main tree at the courthouse, the American tree, and we really appreciate City Hall employees, because they ended the route with the West Virginia tree.”

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