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Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Sykesville’s 12 Hours of Christmas event encourages community to shop local on Friday

It’s Christmas all day Friday in downtown Sykesville, as carolers from Sykesville Middle School sing, free hot cocoa will flow and shops stay open late during this year’s 12 Hours of Christmas event.

True to its name, the event goes from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and encourages shoppers to spend money at local downtown businesses. Each purchase at about 20 downtown stores earns a raffle ticket for a gift basket.

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Downtown Sykesville Connection executive director Julie Della-Maria said home interior boutique Revive & Company is pulling out all of the stops this year, featuring a different flash sale every hour for all 12 hours.

Although hourly sales were once a Sykesville-wide initiative during 12 Hours of Christmas, Revive is the only downtown store to have that promotion this year. Owner Mary Vaccarino said she gives away so many raffle tickets she recommends customers bring stickers with their name and address on it to cut down on time spent writing on the tickets.

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Downtown Sykesville lights up with anticipation for holiday cheer.

A new banner that lights up on Main Street makes downtown look better than ever, Della-Maria said. “Pictures don’t do it justice,” she said.

Sykesville Middle School students are another welcome addition to this year’s event, Della-Maria said. Volunteers operating a free gift-wrapping station with recycled paper will be accepting tips to raise money for the Scorpions’ Parent Teacher Organization and music students will sing carols at a different location every hour.

“This is going to be even better and greater because of the very festive atmosphere we have created downtown,” Della-Maria said.

Friday will also be the last day to vote for the best wreath on the door of a downtown business. Vaccarino said Revive’s wreath is silver and white with snowflakes.

Additionally, attendees can enter to win a $50 gift card to any downtown business by documenting visits to at least 10 participating businesses on a passport. Twenty winners will be selected, Della-Maria said, and that promotion ends Dec. 13.

On Saturday, Santa will visit Sykesville, helping Mayor Stacy Link with the tree-lighting ceremony from 3 to 6 p.m. in Centennial Fountain Park, near 732 Oklahoma Ave. Della-Maria said the tree lighting ceremony is a family forward event while 12 Hours of Christmas puts local businesses in focus.

Gift baskets will be placed under a large holiday tree before being given to raffle winners.

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