Today, December 21st, is the winter solstice, the shortest day in the year when the sun is lowest on the horizon, and also traditionally the day Yule is celebrated. Let’s look back at the jam-packed second annual month-long Savage Mill Yuletide Festival which took place here at Savage Mill November 26 – December 18.
A New, Personalized Touch
Arriving at the Mill, visitors noticed a fresh, welcoming vibe. Hundreds of glowing stars suspended from the ceiling lent a warm, cheerful glow to the festivities. Savage Mill staff and volunteers stood near entrances greeting shoppers, answering questions, and giving out apple cider. Retail shops beckoned with new doorways and windows, their industrial design repeated in the new signage and maps throughout the Mill and parking lots.
Small Business Saturday
Each weekend of the celebration had something special to entice shoppers. The festival kicked off on Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, with the opening of three new small businesses by Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and Councilwoman Christiana Rigby. The theme of supporting small, local businesses resonates strongly here at Savage Mill. All the businesses are independently-owned endeavors whose owners provide goods and services and rely on shoppers in the region patronizing their businesses.
The Mill shined even brighter the second weekend after the much-anticipated 10th annual lighting of the Historic Bollman Truss Bridge. Our partners at Bollman Bridge Elementary School selected a fifth-grade student to serve as “cheermeister”. Donning a festive hat, Jeremiah stood in front of hundreds of residents and visitors thronging around the bridge and, magic wand in hand, set it aglow.
Shop Beneath the Stars
Friday, December 9th the Mill was open late for holiday shopping. Shoppers welcomed their free Savage Mill bags with coupons and special offers, along with the complimentary wine.
This year’s commemoration of Santa Heim, the years when the Mill produced Christmas ornaments and the town was a year-round Christmas village (1948-1950) includes an exhibition of historic photographs and ornaments on loan from the Savage Historical Society. A number of visitors took advantage of two free walking tours which connected the exhibition with the history of the Mill and the town of Savage.
Santa Pop Pop
Saturday and Sunday afternoons, the New Weave Commons in the center of the New Weave building was home to Santa. His sincerity and interest in each child and canine companion won him plenty of fans.
Over two dozen artisans set up throughout the Mill on weekends, selling handmade items to complement the retail shops. Visitors enjoyed the diversity of offerings, which varied each weekend.
Live entertainment is superb, and this holiday season the Mill obliged. Flutes, trombones, carolers, madrigals, and acoustic guitar serenaded shoppers on weekend afternoons, inviting them to linger and appreciate the beauty of their surroundings.
As the cold winds blow, we hope you nestle indoors with family and friends for holiday celebrations. Days will begin lengthening again, and we look forward to welcoming you back to Savage Mill in the new year.