Holiday festival in progress

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

The Holiday House Festival, a treasure trove of ornaments, toys, and goodies kicked off Monday at the Larry Striplin Performing Arts Center in downtown Selma. The festival is now in its 29th year and will be open to the public for the next two weeks.

The hours will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Friday night, it will be open later for individuals who are attending the center’s Christmas pageant to shop afterwards.

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“I ask that everyone in Selma come and shop at the Holiday House,” Mary Jo Hise, who serves on the board of directors for the Old Depot Museum, said Monday morning.

The vendors for the event signed up in November for the festival. Ten percent of proceeds from the festival will go toward the Old Depot Museum.

Elise Blackwell, who is the director, started the Holiday House while she was tourism director for the city of Selma. “It started out as a Christmas gift to the community,” Blackwell said.

It was also meant to be a way for local crafters to sell their merchandise before the start of the new year.

Blackwell hopes to retire from her director post this year, as the sizable time commitment she has given in the past cuts into time to spend with friends and family over the holidays.

“She’s the stabilizing point for this operation,” Hise said.

There is a variety of stuff to buy, including baked goods like strudel in the shape of a candy cane, cheeseball mix, cupholders, Christmas ornaments, jewelry, purses, art, pillows, blankets, and children’s clothing.