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Open House pulls big crowd Sunday

The streets of downtown Hartselle hummed with activity on Sunday afternoon as hundreds of early bird shoppers showed up to help merchants celebrate Christmas Open House.

In addition to offering a wide array of antiques, collectibles and specialty gift items in participating stores, the Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce event delivered live entertainment, visits with Santa and The Taste of Hartselle.

Three hours of entertainment at The Depot featured five bell-ringing groups from Hartselle First United Methodist Church and the Bethel Baptist School Tour Choir.

The ringers consisted of the Notations, Good Vibrations, Rowdy Ringers, Copper Clappers and the Carrolines.

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Junior high and high school students make up the Bethel Show Choir. Led by Renee Gamble, it plays and sings for special school and church events and also performs as a touring group.

Santa greeted children and listened to their gift wish lists from a big straight chair located in the Gazebo, next to a brightly decorated Christmas tree. Parents waiting in line to get to Santa was the case for much of the afternoon.

The Taste of Hartselle featured entrees and regular menu specialties from several of Hartselle’s food establishments.

“We had big crowds from start to finish,” said Susan Hines, chamber president, “and everyone seemed to enjoy getting out on a pretty day and doing some early Christmas shopping. Hopefully, those who came to look took note the wide varsity of gift items offered by our businesses and will return to shop and buy before Christmas.”