The show must go on — virtually.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Pitt Community College Foundation is taking its Down East Holiday Show online.
On campus Monday, it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas, complete with Santa Claus, holiday cookies and Christmas tunes. PCC wanted to remind the community, “the holidays are not canceled and neither is the Down East Holiday Show,” according foundation Director Beth Sigmon. The show has kicked off the local shopping season since 2002.
This years’s event will begin at 8 a.m Saturday, Nov. 6, and will run through midnight Sunday, Nov. 8. A donation of $10 — the same fee traditionally charged at the door of the Greenville Convention Center — will allow shoppers access to shop online all three days.
“That is a small donation that will go to student scholarships,” PCC Special Events Specialist Erin Greenleaf said. “This allow you and all your household to shop online anytime you want to during those three days.”
“Now more than ever, it is extremely important to help these students,” Sigmon said.
Greenleaf said the event is the foundation’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Last year, more than 9,500 people shopped at the Greenville Convention Center.
“This year’s holiday show will not have the smells and the tastes of our in-person event, sadly,” Sigmon said. “However, we do plan on making it look and feel as much as our in-person event as possible. You will be able to instant message with our vendors. We are doing some things to make it look and feel like our show. We are going to miss seeing the shoppers and miss seeing our vendors. We are going to try and make it look and feel like you are there in person.”
The virtual event will feature demonstrations from vendors videos of Santa reading to children each day of the show. Event times will be posted online.
Greenleaf said shoppers can access the show at www.downeastholidayshow.com. Once registered, they will receive an access code for a software program they will can use on their phone or computer.
“A map will show up of the holiday show, just like you were right in the convention center,” she said. “When a booth is clicked on, the business name will show up and brief description of their products will pop up, as well as some links.”
Greenleaf said there will be options for shoppers to pick up items without a shipping cost. PCC will have curbside pick-up Nov. 14 on campus.
“Other vendors will have a storefront where you can arrange a more flexible curbside pickup,” Greenleaf said. “Many of our vendors will ship the items directly to your home. Some of our vendors are choosing free shipping for just the Downeast holiday shoppers.
“We are in our 19th year raising money for student scholarships,” sh said. “Last year this event brought in over $145,000. Imagine how many students that helps with just their books.
“We need our community to rally around us and support us and pay that $10 to virtually shop this year,” she said. “We need our community to step up and embrace these students.”
PCC President Lawrence Rouse said the college is approximately six months away from celebrating its 60th anniversary.
“When you think about the number of lives PCC has positively impacted in those six decades, we’ll be celebrating thousands of achievements come March,” he said. “We are certainly not done. Our educational mission continues to this day and is every bit as important to this community as it was in 1961.
“The PCC Foundation has been committed to supporting the college and students since 1973,” he said. “The funding this organization has raised over the years has helped build buildings on this campus, supported a variety of educational activities and provided valuable scholarships to students in need of assistance with paying for higher education. Much of PCC’s success can be attributed to the PCC Foundation.”
For more information go to www.downeastholidayshow.