HIGH POINT — Core city small business owners Angel Schroeder and Joe Hubay both expected a boost heading into the holiday season from the inaugural High Point Holiday Party, but they hope the momentum symbolized by the event carries over 365 days a year.

The High Point Holiday Party played out Saturday, with the base of activity around Truist Point stadium downtown.

The lighting of a 44-foot-tall Christmas tree was scheduled after sunset. With 35,500 LED bulbs, the tree is the largest in the Triad, organizers of the event said.

After the tree-lighting, a free community showing of the movie “Elf” was planned at the stadium.

The day’s activities included a Holiday Craft Fair at Truist Point and a trolley that took revelers to stores and restaurants along the Main Street corridor. Trollies already were busy ferring passengers by late in the afternoon.

Hubay’s business — High Point Jewelry and Fine Gifts — as well as Schroder’s Sunrise Books served as trolley stops during the celebration.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Hubay told The High Point Enterprise. “It’s great exposure, and the ability to ride from place to place on the trolley.”

Momentum has been building in recent years with the core city revitalization and developments such as the High Point Rockers and the Truist Point ballpark, the business and community center at Congdon Yards and the impending opening of the food hall, Hubay said.

The coronavirus pandemic set the course back, but the fundamentals of making the core city a destination remain, said Hubay, whose family runs another downtown business, Plank Street Tavern, owned by his wife, Pam.

“The holiday party is a great way to kick off the holidays and start building back that momentum,” he said. “It’s not a one- or two-year plan — it’s a six- or seven-year plan.”

Schroeder told The Enterprise that the holiday party serves as another reminder “that there is stuff to do” in the core city, downtown and Uptowne High Point.

The celebration allows Schroeder to promote all of her activities for the holiday season.

“We are handing out our holiday catalog and touting our specials for the season,” she said. “I’m hoping this is a first-annual event like this.”

The High Point Holiday Party was primarily organized by Furnitureland Rotary Club, with Dr. Lenny Peters and his Bethany Medical as presenting sponsor. High Point University President Nido Qubein and the university also contributed to the event.

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