It's the holiday season in Elkins and a month into the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad's Polar Express season. With more than 20 departures under their belt, officials at the railroad could not be more pleased with not only the number of visitors riding the holiday train - nearly 5,000 to date - but the opportunities available to these visitors in downtown Elkins and neighboring town of Beverly.
This weekend, throughout downtown Elkins, shop owners are observing the annual Downtown Elkins Open House Friday evening, offering discounts and added specials to those who "Shop Local."
Shops participating in Santa's Workshop add to the festivities children activities including making reindeer antlers, fashioning Christmas picture frames, demonstrating hand-stitch quilting, machine quilting and embroidery, plus scheduled Story Times at Main Line Books.
Participating shops are given a large candy cane number to put in their window. This number integrates with the weekly activity tour map that is available for pick up at the Welcome Centers and area lodging and retail facilities.
Special events throughout the weekend include the Festival of Trees Auction slated for 1 p.m. Saturday in the Seneca Mall Atrium. Artists at Work will be closing bids on their Silent Auction during their Open House on Saturday. Bids close at 5:45 p.m.
Old Fashioned Christmas will be celebrated in Beverly from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday as well; and the Randolph County Arts Center opens its annual Holiday Artists Market Friday at 10 a.m. The Great Hall will be filled with works from member artists, musicians, and writers until 8:30 p.m. that evening and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The topping on the holiday event cake is the annual downtown Christmas Parade Friday evening beginning at 7 p.m. The "I Believe in Christmas," theme will play upon Polar Express characters, activities and events from the popular movie and book. After the parade visit Santa and Mrs. Claus at YMCA, enjoy treats, and family friendly activities.
To download this week's walking tour map, just visit mountainrail.com/ santa.