By MIRANDA BAINES
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
Early holiday shoppers poured into the Riverside Plaza Saturday. The Christmas celebration gift and craft show was a fundraiser for the Parkhill Cinema. The show is in its second year.
“It’s good to see all this activity in the mall. It brings back memories,” said Beth Weathersbee, a Tarboro shopper.
The Parkhill Cinema is one of the only remaining businesses in the mall, and Jason Clark has been the owner/ operator of the theater for 21 years. Craft show organizer Aimee Clark said Saturday’s show combined with raffle sales raised $1,400 to help the theater convert to digital equipment.
“It’s been a really good turnout. A lot of people are really interested in what we’re doing,” Clark said.
Shoppers also brought in more than 80 canned goods for the Tarboro Community Outreach, a local food pantry, in keeping with the holiday spirit of giving.
Patrons of the show ranged from the young to the old and helped get people in the spirit of the Christmas season.
“Christmas is my favorite time of the year,” said 9-year-old Alexis Soles of Tarboro. She and 5-year-old Maddie Perkins stopped by Rocky Mount craftswoman Peggy Hill’s table to look at her bracelets made out of memory wire and beads.
“They’re really shiny and you can wear them at dinner. You can wear them anytime you want to,” Soles said.
Soles said she had a “really fun” time at the holiday show, as she ate a candy cane she received during her time there.
“It’s been a good show so far,” said Hill. “I think it’s neat that they have a Santa Claus to bring the kids in.”
An elf greeted children as they went to see Santa Claus in his sleigh. Alynn Christopher, 9, of Tarboro, said seeing the elf was her favorite part of the day.
Holiday decorations were part of the festivities at Saturday’s show, as well. Allen Clark of Greenville brought his handcrafted, white-painted wooden reindeers of various sizes.
“You see reindeer, you’re going to be looking for Santa Claus,” Clark said.
“I think they’re adorable and I may have to go back and get one,” Weathersbee said. “I like the way they’re plain because you can add your own personal touch.”
One of the personalized offerings at the holiday show was “Heather’s Custom Creations” – hand-painted ornaments created based on the customer’s tastes.
“Everybody loves these ornaments because you can make them your own,” said crafter Heather Davis. “I’m donating 10 percent of all my craft sales to Susan G. Komen. That way, I’m giving something back, so I have a purpose behind it.”
At last year’s show, Kim Winslow of Tarboro bought a clear ornament with baby blue ribbon on the inside for her son Wyatt, who was born right before Christmas. She said she planned to keep the tradition going at this year’s show.
“I figured every year I came, I could get him a new ornament,” Winslow said.
Paula Raynard of Rocky Mount offered her hand-crocheted and knitted scarves to shoppers.
“We have just a little bit of everything out here,” Raynard said.
She offered everything scarves from every occasion, to “dress up your outfit,” from shawl-type scarves to shorter, neck scarves resembling necklaces.