Christmas tradition returning to Thomasville

THOMASVILLE, N.C. -- On a hot and steamy July afternoon, you might think it's strange that Carol Brown, Chair of the Thomasville Beautification Committee, is thinking about Christmas.

"When you look at the calendar, we are about four months away," Brown said. "You have to start planning."

The committee is working to bring back a Christmas favorite that has been gone for several years.

"It was the highlight of everyone's Christmas," Brown said. "Every year was when they started decorating. Everyone wanted to come downtown."

The town came out to see 12 mechanical elves that were busy creating Christmas magic inside of the Hudson Belk display windows.

But when the downtown Thomasville department store closed, the elves slowly disappeared from public view.

Denise Barnes is on the Thomasville Beautification Committee. She feels it's time to bring back a Thomasville favorite.

"It makes me so happy and thrills me to know that something I treasured from childhood is coming back," Barnes said. "Plus, it's going to incorporate the old with the new."

Lou Nasti's Mechanical Displays is a New York based company that specializes in building and repairing animated displays.

The company is refurbishing the 12 original elves along with making 20 new ones.

The team is also putting together a new factory entitled "Santa's Magical Workshop." A new animated Pinocchio will serve as a guide, directing people to three display windows that are a part of the old Belk building, which is now the Thomasville Antique Emporium.

"Santa's Magical Workshop" will bring back childhood feelings and create new memories for younger Thomasville residents.

With renewed interest in downtown, the Beautification Committee believes the Christmas display is coming back at the right time.

"Our downtown is growing," Barnes said. "We've had six new businesses to open and this is going to be great for tourism."

The new and improved three-window Christmas display will be ready for the "Light up the Holiday" events scheduled for November 23.

The Thomasville Beautification Committee is currently raising funds for the $50,000 project.

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