The Greensboro Better Hometown Program is encouraging the Central Georgia community to shop with downtown merchants as the organization prepares Greensboro for the holiday season.

Downtown Greensboro will officially kick off its holiday season with the lighting of the community Christmas Tree on the courthouse lawn on Thursday, Dec. 4.

“Greensboro celebrates the holidays in several different ways,” Cail Hammons, director of the Greensboro Better Hometown Program, said.

As part of the holiday season, some downtown shops will host “Holiday Open Houses” on Thursday evenings until 8 p.m. beginning Nov. 13 and continuing throughout the holiday season with the exception of Thanksgiving Day.

“They’ll have special treats and sales for shoppers and will stay open until 8 p.m.,” Hammons said.

Greensboro shoppers will have an opportunity to take advantage of the Downtown Shopping Spree offered by Greensboro Business Association merchants.

Shoppers will be given an entry card for a $250 shopping spree in downtown Greensboro.

Once the card is validated at three or more participating downtown businesses, a shopper's name is entered into a drawing to win the shopping spree. A new winner will be drawn on Thursday evenings at the open house in front of the courthouse on Nov. 30, Dec. 4, Dec. 11, and Dec. 18, Hammons explained.

Shoppers must be present at the drawing in order to win.

Downtown Greensboro offers a wide opportunity for retail shopping and relaxation, including gift shops, antique stores, restaurants and home decor stores, among others, according to Hammons.

Local groups and organizations are invited to participate in the tree lighting program.

Choirs are needed to provide special music throughout the evening, and local non-profits are invited to get involved by providing special holiday goodies, according to a press release issued by the Greensboro Better Hometown Program office.

“On Dec. 4, Santa Claus will be in town. He’ll be at the gazebo for children to have their picture taken with him,” Hammons said. “We’ll have carolers in Victorian costumes, hay rides and Greene County high school art students will be there as well. We just want to welcome people to downtown and provide them with an opportunity to shop while experiencing an old fashioned Christmas.”

For more information about participating in the Downtown Tree Lighting, contact Cail Hammons at the Better Hometown Office at (706) 453-7592, visit www.greenecoc.org or e-mail betterhometown@greeneccoc.org.

“We want people to make Greensboro their shopping destination this holiday season and discover that holiday shopping can be fun after all,” Hammons said.

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