Hudson -- The rainy weather Dec. 2 failed to dampen the holiday spirit for the annual Hudson Holiday Walk, while Santa's visit on the Green the day before saw the best weather in years.

"Of all 12 years we've had Santa on the Green, it was the most mild weather," said Jimmy Sutphin, who helps organize the event for the Rotary Club of Hudson. "Mrs. Claus loves it because she doesn't get cold."

Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived in traditional style on the back of a fire truck with sirens blaring and kids waiting on the curb of East Main Street, Sutphin said.

A newly married couple got in line to ask Santa for something special on their wedding day, Sutphin said. And it wasn't the first bride and groom to sit on Santa's knee.

"People took a number early and went to shop and came back later," Sutphin said. "Everything went smoothly."

The following day, as Hudson merchants and community groups delivered good cheer for the Holiday Walk, it rained early, then a light mist filled the air the rest of the day.

The pouring rain kept many guests away early, but a little mist in the air didn't stop anybody, said Liz Murphy, owner of The Learned Owl Book Shop on Main Street.

"I thought nobody would show up, but people came out, and it was body to body in the store," Murphy said. "I was pleasantly surprised and pleased by the turnout."

A lot of shoppers came in with a list, but an equal number just walked in to see the different stores in the downtown, Murphy said.

"People enjoyed all the decorations," she said. "That's what the holiday walk is all about."

The rain was disappointing, but shoppers were steady all day, said MJ Lehman of Nicky Nicole on First Street. Families came in to make jingle bell necklaces and enjoy cookies and candy canes.

"People were definitely in the holiday spirit, and in spite of the rain, we were very busy," Lehman said.

The weather dampened the day, but people were out and about, said Michelle Sahr of My Little Red Wagon. Shoppers visited the toy store to write letters to Santa.

"We didn't have as many shoppers as typical, but sales wise, it was a good event," Sahr said.

The First Congregational Church set up its manger Saturday for its live Nativity the next day. Sunday at 1 p.m., it rained steady for 15 minutes, said Dee Buchanon, a director at the church.

"The heavens opened up and poured," she said. "I got a little bit discouraged, but the bad weather seemed to make people more joyous."

Foot traffic was only about a quarter of what is normally seen, Buchanon said. But drivers slowed down and took photos or yelled greetings from their cars.

"It was fun and spirits were very high," she said.

The animals appeared to enjoy the rain, with the camel investigating anything in anyone's hand, Buchanon said. The shepherds got muddy but had the best time playing with the animals.

"There is something magical about being on the Green when the holiday lights suddenly go on," Buchanon said. "It's beautiful."


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