Holiday Open House set for Saturday

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The windows are covered, but behind them,local business owners are busy.

    Those local businesses are preparing for the annual Christmas OpenHouse on Saturday, which is a big day for both businesses andshoppers according to the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber ofCommerce.

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    “The open house is many businesses’ best day of the year,” chamberExecutive Vice President Cliff Brumfield said. “It is the mostexciting day to shop because of how much the participants put intoit.”

    There are 32 local participants in the open house, up slightly fromlast year, Brumfield said.

    This year, the open house will be preceded by a new event, a windowreveal on Thursday at 5 p.m.

    Of the 32 participating retailers, 29 are taking part in the windowreveal. Their windows are covered until Thursday, behind whichbusinesses are crafting Christmas scenes and decorations.

    Angie Warren, owner of Expectations, spearheaded the window reveal.Warren is chairman of the open house retail committee and had donesuch a reveal in her own window last year.

    She was glad to see most of the other retailers get on board thisyear.

    “We want to make a new Christmas tradition for Brookhaven,” Warrensaid. “We want to folks to get out, ride around and look at all thewindows.”

    The DAILY LEADER will host a poll, allowing local residents to voteon their favorite window display.

    The poll can be found on beginning Sunday.

    Also, advertisements in the Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday editionsof The DAILY LEADER will feature QR codes that will assist in thevoting process.

    Scanning the QR code with a smart phone will navigate the user and the poll. A QR code is a square matrix box,and functions similarly to a traditional barcode.

    Readers without a smart phone can use a computer to access TheDAILY LEADER’s website and vote in the poll.

    Pulling off a successful window reveal requires a bit offorethought, Warren said.

    She began planning her window displays in January. At that time,she sketched out what she wanted her windows to look like andpurchased the materials.

    She hasn’t hesitated to change things up, though.

    “It evolves,” Warren said on Monday, pointing out that she wascutting out new things that day.

    On the day of the open house, shoppers from far outside the countywill descend on Brookhaven. Brumfield said he will take note of thelicense plates in town that day.

    “We get a large amount of shoppers from the Jackson metro area andHattiesburg,” Brumfield said.

    Brumfield explained some of the incentives for shoppers to get outon the day of the open house.

    “There are super values that day,” Brumfield said. “You get firstpick of the holiday merchandise. And there’s a tremendous socialaspect.”

    Warren agreed as the significance of the day for localretailers.

    “We do 25 percent of our sales for the month of November on thatday,” she said.

    Warren and Brumfield both said many retailers will providerefreshments for shoppers.