GLADSTONE, Mich. (WJMN) – Gladstone Downtown Development Authority is getting ready to put on their Old Fashioned Christmas event on Friday.

“The event began nearly 20 years ago and over those years, it has evolved quite a bit,” said Shelly Claycomb, organizer of the event. “The event is kind of geared towards families, a free event for people to come, kick off the holiday season. There are businesses throughout the downtown that will be open. Some have treats, cookies, cider, hot chocolate. One of the businesses is doing free hot dogs and soups, and then one of the churches is doing kids games. There is Santa, so the kids can visit with Santa and get a goddie bag to go home with and also get a photo with Santa. They can also write a letter to Santa and mail it to the North Pole. There’s also Christmas music with a live band in the farmers market. There’s also a live Nativity in the city electrical garage near City Hall.”

Businesses throughout the downtown are in Gladstone get involved.

“The Dew Drop gets involved every year with Old Fashioned Christmas because we love being a part of family atmosphere,” said Amanda Phillips, owner, The Dew Drop. “What good Old Fashioned Christmas does is bring the families out into the community and gives us a chance to mingle with the community members and their families without working at that time. It gives us some one-on-one experience. We have a lot of fun with it.”

“A lot of persons that may have moved away, they come back here to see their family and friends and they’re just amazed at what downtown has here to offer,” said Mike Williams, owner, Brampton, Bike & Ski. “Whether or not it be the Christmas tree lighting or the shops that are open or the freebies or the face painting or the fires that they have all over in town here or the get warm bins, the nativity scene, it just brings me back to being a kid. It’s a small community and everyone knows one another here, one way or another.”

“For us, it offers a more direct link to interacting with our community,” said Jesse LaRose, third generation florist, Trotters Floral. “Maybe some new faces we don’t see around here, first time coming to our business and we get to put on a kids craft, provide refreshments, little bit of warmth for the members of our community.”

Old Fashioned Christmas runs from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Friday, November 25. For more information, see the flyer below.