WILLIAMSBURG — After a weekend of big meals and neverending leftovers, it’s officially the season for winter celebrations.
This year, Merchants Square will be tossing its very own winter celebration with its “Merchants Square Open Houses” that are taking place on Dec. 3, Dec. 10, and Dec. 17 from 6-8 p.m.
The December dates will feature choir groups from all three Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools’ high schools. Lafayette High School will be performing on Dec. 3. Jamestown High School will be performing on the Dec. 10, and Warhill High School will be performing on Dec. 17. All three choir groups will be singing carols to add to the festive atmosphere of holiday shopping.
The Merchants Square Open Houses will also have a strolling Santa and a free hot chocolate station that will be served near Talbots. The Santa will be dressed in more historic garb to match the setting and will walk around greeting visitors.
“We think it’s a great opportunity to go ahead and showcase what we have,” said President of Merchants Square Association, Ralph Young. “I think that people after a year of COVID[-19] are wanting to get out, and they want to see what there is. I think we’re going to have a lot of activities outside. I was at the tree lighting ceremony last Friday and I think this is an opportunity to build on that.”
Young says that these dates are a great opportunity for people to discover the newly arrived businesses at Merchants Square. Some of these new shops include Penny and a Sixth Pence, J. McLaughlin, and FatFace.
“Penny and a Sixth Pence is a cute jewelry store. It is silver jewelry, and it is reasonably priced. It’s a great place to get a Christmas gift and it is a brand new store,” said Youngs. “And then there are two new stores very close to that. One is called FatFace, and that is an English store. I was just talking to their manager and they maybe have 25 stores in the United States and a couple hundred in England. They have men’s and women’s casual clothes. Then there’s another new clothing store right next to it called J. McLaughlin. They’re all in the old Williamsburg Sonoma Building. That’s a building right when you start walking into merchant square. They’re all really unique stores and I think it’s something that everybody will like.”
There are a little over forty stores in Merchants Square and they will all be open until 8 p.m. on these open house dates.
Other Winter Activites
In addition to the Holiday Open Houses, the Liberty Ice Pavilion has recently opened to the public on Nov. 19. Visitors to the area will be able to skate at an outdoor ice rink that is adjacent to Merchants Square. The ice rink will be open until Feb. 27, 2022.
“There’s also a Christmas parade this weekend and there will be a fireworks display in Colonial Williamsburg all three weekends,” said Youngs. “They’re going to spread it out so that there aren’t as big of crowds. I think this is a great opportunity to go ahead and show everybody what Merchants Square has to offer.”
Merchants Square has also partnered up with the Williamsburg Public Library to put on an event called Story Walk. There are 15 businesses in Merchants Square that are showcasing a page of a book in their windows. Visitors to Merchants Square can follow a story page-by-page called, “Santa Duck”. A map of the participating stores can be found here.
Visitors seeking more information about Merchants Square’s upcoming winter events can visit their official website for more information.