The second weekend of November Fayetteville and Lincoln County opened its hearts and doors to thousands of visitors – as well as locals – as they took in the sights and sounds, not to mention all the great tastes, of “Fayetteville … Host of Christmas Past”!
For many, the festival has become a favorite time of the year, a time when family gathers, there are smiles all around, the laughter of children blends with the music of talented individuals and groups sharing their talents, and all seems well with the world. It is time when our local businesses can welcome customers in and, yes, make a dollar or two that sometimes helps carry them through the rest of the year. And it is a time when numerous non-profit organizations roll up their sleeves and offer goods and services in keeping with the occasion for the benefit of their cause.
All of this comes together for an event that is a plus for each of us – not only does it promote our community, but it also draws in business and helps generate tax dollars and goodwill.
So to those early organizers who took a chance on expending an extraordinary amount of time and energy planning the first “Host of Christmas “Past”, we offer our thanks and appreciation. Who would have thought that a Christmas open house held by The Flower House 45 years earlier would have turned into such a magical holiday experience.
The festival originated in 1991 when a committee consisting of Alice Barrett, Bill Summerville, Tom Redden, Peggy Fitzpatrick and Marie Caldwell met and began brainstorming about an event to promote Fayetteville and Lincoln County.
In keeping with The Flower House tradition, the date of the second weekend in November was set. And in the years since, other florists, businesses and organizations have come together in support, making the festival truly a community event. Credit goes to Peggy Fitzpatrick for naming the festival and to Cindy Stefko for designing the Nutcracker logo still used today.
An estimated 18,000 people attend the event each year, and it seems, as time goes by, more word travels and even more are drawn to our beautiful city to enjoy something we all already know. We are, indeed, blessed to live in a place where friends and neighbors join hands so that we can all enjoy a wonderful community.
To the organizers – Fayetteville Main Street and the Fayetteville/Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce – who carry on the tradition and work so hard to bring together this festival every year, we offer thanks and appreciation. We know it’s not an easy task to coordinate so much! Thank you, too and perhaps most especially, to all the businesses, individuals and organizations who help to sponsor such a wonderful festival.
Congratulations, “Fayetteville …. Host of Christmas Past”, on 20 great years!