As fallen leaves blanket the bricks, the Fulton Brick District is beginning its transformation into a winter wonderland.
The Brick District's annual Holiday Sneak Peek will take place from 5-8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday during regular business hours in downtown Fulton.
"The open house brings people into our Brick District area so they can see what we truly have to offer," said Debbie LaRue, a Brick District board member. "It also gives merchants an opportunity to welcome people to the Brick District and encourage them to shop local."
The Sneak Peek will include activities for the whole family.
Children and grownups alike may compete for prizes in the Turkey Strut. This event will take place in the 10th block of 5th Street, between Court and Nichols. Prizes are provided by Moser's and there is no cost for participation.
"It's like a cake-walk," explained Virginia McCoskrie, Brick District board member and owner of Smockingbird's. "We've had it for the last three years — the prizes are turkeys and pumpkin pies, I believe."
Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by carriage at 5 p.m. and will be taking selfies at Sault's Drug Store from 5:30-7 p.m. Donations are accepted and will go to the Fulton Soup Kitchen.
"Jana Rae Salmons, the board chair for the Sneak Peak, wanted us to give back; it was her idea," McCoskrie said of supporting the Fulton Soup Kitchen. "She organized it and made it happen."
Wagon rides will be offered from 5-8 p.m. Pick-up is in front of the Playhouse Bistro. Cost is $5 per person; children younger than 5 ride for free.
New this year: a photographer will be taking "old-timey" photos at Lasting Image Salon, located at 117 W. 5th St. Time slots are available from 5-8:30 p.m.
Downtown businesses will also be collecting names to be entered in a raffle for gift certificates that are good throughout the Brick District. The drawing will take place at 8 p.m. in front of 1Canoe2 Paperie, located at 413 Court St.
"We have so many neat shops and businesses in Fulton and we have business owners who dedicate so much time and money and talent to provide for our community," LaRue said.
If all this puts you in a musical mood, you can lift your voice with carolers from Fulton High School Chamber Singers, who will be in various locations downtown. The Callaway Christian Choir will be at 5th and Court Street from 6-6:30 p.m., and The Ding Dongs will be at the same corner from 6:30-7 p.m.
"We're insanely busy," McCoskrie said over the sounds of bustle and decorating in her shop. "It's going to be a great one, and we're really excited."
Sponsors for the event include the Brick District, Central Bank, Moser's Foods, The Callaway Bank and the United Security Bank. The Brick District Association is a downtown leadership organization focusing on business recruitment, retention, beautification, communications and marketing of the Brick District in Fulton.