Orange County businesses encouraged to keep holiday lights, decorations up to draw visitors

Orange County News

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — A new campaign in Orange County is encouraging businesses to leave their holiday lights and decorations up until at least February as a way to draw more visitors.

In an effort to bring in visitors looking for “cheerful retreats from the cold winter months,” the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau, Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, and the offices of Carrboro Economic Development and Hillsborough Economic Development are taking part in a new campaign called “Sights, Lights and Bites.”

The campaign’s goal is to promote local retailers, restaurants and other businesses while also spreading the feelings of good cheer that go along with seasonal lights and decorations.

“Many community members said they were not ready to let go of the glitz and glamor of the season just yet,” said Laurie Paolicelli, director of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau, in a press release.

“After the year we’ve all had, we certainly deserve to keep the cheer going just a little longer,” said Shannan Campbell, Hillsborough’s planning and economic development manager.

Two popular downtown Chapel Hill businesses were among the first to sign up to participate in the Sights, Lights and Bites campaign – Carolina Brewery and The Lantern.

“[We’re] proud to light up the season,” said Robert Poitras, owner of the Carolina Brewery. “We are leaving our lights on through January and we invite residents and visitors to enjoy the extra light, heaters and seasonal goodwill.”

“At The Lantern, we are keeping our holiday lights up through the month of January to keep things cheerful and bright,” said owner Andrea Reusing. “Providing more light through the dark winter months will hopefully create a sense of optimism.”

Visit the Sights, Lights and Bites website for more information and to see participating businesses.

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