Manchester "Old Fashioned Christmas" set for Friday

While the thought of Black Friday elicits visions of busy malls and big-box stores, the town of Manchester will continue its longtime tradition Friday by hosting its annual small-town version of Black Friday.

"This brings it [Black Friday] back to small town, family, Christmas and holiday values and really what the season should be about while supporting the local community," said Tom Cunningham, president of the Manchester Area Merchants Association.

The Manchester Old-Fashioned Christmas and Holiday Open House, sponsored by the Manchester Area Merchants Association, has been a Manchester tradition for more than 20 years.

This Friday, local businesses will stay open through 9 p.m., the town will host its Christmas tree lighting at 6 p.m., and crafters and vendors will be selling their products in the Manchester Valley Fire Department Building from 6 to 9 p.m.

Other activities include pictures with Santa, the nativity lighting at Trinity Church and hay rides throughout town.

Cunningham said the event, which usually draws 250 to 300 people, has a few new additions this year.

New this year will be Manchester Valley High School students dressed in character from Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" and the Manchester Valley choir will perform at the tree lighting ceremony, Cunningham said.

"There are plenty of activities throughout Main Street and back toward the activity building," Cunningham said.

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