Thousands are expected to fill downtown Rocky Mount on Friday during the annual Come Home to a Franklin County Christmas celebration.
The free, family-friendly event serves as a reunion for some, said Donna Wray, president of Community Partnership for Revitalization, which organizes the event with the help of local sponsors.
“It is a huge socialization event where you see people you haven’t seen since last year,” Wray said. “It’s just another simple thing that works.”
The event features games, bounce houses and train rides at the North Pole — located at the Community and Hospitality Center at the Depot — live music, dance performances, photo booth and vendors for holiday shopping. There will be a tree lighting in the old J&J Fashions parking lot at 5:45 p.m. as well.
This is the 16th year for the event. CPR started the event because it wanted a community-wide event for the holidays, Wray said.
The group partnered with local sponsors and got it started. She said the first year the event attracted 500 people, and there were no vendors. Now the event attracts an average of 12,000 people.
“I really feel like we have a renewed involvement in our community,” Wray said of the holiday event. “Our town is so picturesque ... it’s like a throwback to a different time.”
Franklin Street (Va. 40) will close from North Main Street to Floyd Avenue at 4 p.m. on Friday.
No parking on the street will be permitted after 3:30 p.m. to allow set-up for the evening’s festivities.