WhistleStop Marketplace returns, Newton Chamber to host drawings

By BRENT MAZE,

The Newton Chamber of Commerce is hosting its seventh annual Whistlestop Marketplace on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Former chamber executive directors Leigh Anne Whittle and Angie Burks started the event eight years ago to give Newton County residents a local option for Christmas arts and crafts shopping.

Current executive director Emily Pugh wants to continue that tradition.

“In Newton, we’ve got a great deal of population who don’t necessarily want to get out and drive to the cities for the big Christmas events,” Pugh said. “We want to provide a hometown, holiday atmosphere so our people would not have to leave town to get the lights, the sounds and the shopping and being able to spend time with one another. The reason we’re doing this is for the people in this community to feel a part of something and a part of events throughout the year.”

Several hundred visitors typically come to shop at the Marketplace which will feature arts and crafts from several local vendors.

Visitors will also be able to warm up with coffee, cider and hot chocolate, and La-Z-Boy will sponsor a chair giveaway.

All proceeds will go toward future chamber events, including the Loose Caboose Festival which will be in March.

“There’s plenty for everyone to do without leaving home,” Pugh said.

From Thursday, Dec. 7, the day of the Christmas Parade, until Friday, Dec. 8, the chamber is sponsoring a “shop local for the holidays” campaign, in which shoppers who spend money in participating stores will receive chances to win a cash prize.

The drawing will be on Saturday, December 9th during our WhistleStop Marketplace.

“All you have to do is purchase something at a participating store, and you will be entered in the drawing,” Pugh said. “This is a good way to support local businesses while giving yourself a chance to win a cash prize.”