09Light Up the City: A Holiday Decoration Celebration is coming to the Cool Springs Downtown District. The event is free for all who wish to attend or participate and encourages shop owners to decorate their windows for the holidays.

The idea is to bring residents downtown to view the lights and decorations. The decorations turn downtown Fayetteville into a decoratively lit winter wonderland. It is ideal for taking photos and making memories.

Last year, 35 businesses, restaurants and downtown museums took part in the event.

It is a great way to fill downtown Fayetteville with holiday spirit. Some locations are decked out with Christmas trees, others strung up lights and lots of places put up garland.

People can take a self-guided tour downtown. A map will be available on the Light Up the City: A Holiday Decoration Celebration Facebook event page (facebook.com/events/262093505957203) highlighting the establishments that are taking part in the event.

Maps of businesses taking part in the Light Up the City will also be available at 222 Hay St. beginning Dec. 1. The event will take place from Dec. 1 – 31.

Letters to Santa will also return with this event and there will be a giant five-foot red mailbox in which children can send their Christmas lists and Santa letters to the North Pole. The “Direct to the North Pole" mailbox will be located outside of the Cool Spring Downtown District's office at 222 Hay Street.

Just next door downtown visitors will also find the Holiday Alley, a photographic urban holiday oasis designed to spark joy and filled with holiday lights and decorations.
Families can visit and take photos in the alley.

“Last year, we saw hundreds of families come, enjoy the holiday decorations and take photos of their children at the photo stations,” said Lauren Falls, director of marketing and events for the Cool Spring Downtown District.

This is the third year Light Up the City: A Holiday Decoration Celebration will be held and it is the second year patrons can mail a letter to Santa and visit the
Holiday Alley.

Businesses are invited to sign up for the event by visiting this link, forms.gle/2YDiUgAZYu7PTfRq5. They must have decorations up by Dec. 1. They may decorate their storefront or inside their business to qualify and share the event link on their social media pages.

Pedestrians checking out the many lights can vote for the Viewer’s Choice Award, the best display in participating businesses.

The window voted best dressed wins $250.

“Last year, we had around 500 people vote for the Light Up the City Viewer's Choice Award poll and the winner for last year was the United Way of Cumberland County,” said Falls.

In addition to the businesses that have decorated, there will be a 14-foot tree decked out in holiday finery. The community tree will be located at 301 Hay St., in front of the Arts Council of Fayetteville and Cumberland County building and will likely be a prime spot for visitors to take photos.

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