New elements added to this year's Victorian Christmas

New elements added to this year's Victorian Christmas
Sarah Turner (Source: WALB)
Sarah Turner (Source: WALB)
This year's festival is going to be bigger than previous years. (Source: Sarah Turner)
This year's festival is going to be bigger than previous years. (Source: Sarah Turner)

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - For 31 years, Thomasville's Victorian Christmas has welcomed thousands and thousands of people to the charming, small town.

But this year, they've made some changes, some upgrades, to make it the best celebration yet.

WALB News 10's Catherine Patterson spoke with Thomasville's Events Director Sarah Turner about the enhancements you can expect this year.

Whether it's Christmas lights or enormous nutcrackers, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in downtown Thomasville for its annual Victorian Christmas event.

"Victorian Christmas was actually invented by a group of merchants about 30 years ago who really wanted to encourage shopping local and downtown holiday shopping and dining," explained Turner.

And over those 30 years, the festival crowds have grown.

For the past couple of years, Turner said they see 15,000 people per day.

"Which is crazy wonderful! It's an absolutely wonderful thing for a small town," Turner said.

For this year's celebration, Turner said they've totally redesigned the layout of the Victorian Christmas to accommodate the huge turnout.

"We are kind of taking the event back to its roots, making it a lot more authentically Victorian, helping spread the crowds out by expanding the event area so that you can more easily walk through it, and really encouraging people to shop and dine in downtown," said Turner.

First thing's first, a bigger event center.

Turner said this year's Victorian Christmas will cover more blocks downtown than ever before.

This year, they'll have a dedicated food court area for vendors, which will give festival goers more access to the shops open late for the event.

"We're including the amphitheater for the first time," said Turner. "It wasn't open last year, so we're very excited to bring that into the rotation. So it's a lot bigger than it ever has been. But we're hoping it will feel more intimate because the people will be spread out a lot more."

And if you feel a bit overwhelmed by all the changes, have no fear, they've got you covered.

"We have these wonderful maps that we've printed out this year," Turner explained. "And we have info booths throughout the event area. So if you're looking for anything in particular, a real-life human being will be able to help you. It won't just be checking the internet. You'll be able to talk to somebody."

And Turner said for the first time this year, they will be having a free Magic Lantern Show at the Municipal Auditorium.

Hand-painted glass slides will be projected onto a big screen, while a pianist plays and a storyteller will be telling Christmas stories.

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