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2011: A Candlelight Miracle
For over thirty years, the downtown merchants, restaurants, churches and attractions have invited the public to the annual Candlelight Tour. Originally held the first Monday evening after election day it now spans four days over a weekend. The Tour epitomizes what is best about our community, with local entertainment, lots to see and numerous opportunities to visit with friends. For many, Candlelight is a magical time when downtown transforms into the Frankfort of years past.
At Completely Kentucky we remember the magic of our first Candlelight Tour. We moved into our original location (now Buddy’s Pizza) on Thursday November 8th, 1990 with a several secondhand bookcases, a collection of pedestals and dozens of boxes of brand new inventory. We had a lot of work to do in the four days before Monday night and the Candlelight Tour; we had to create a store.
Everything had to be painted, the walls, the cubes and the old bookcases. Where to put the displays? We had no idea and little time to figure it out. Oh yes, a cash register and a counter were needed. We borrowed six beautiful antique fixtures from Cathy Noel’s grandfather’s country store and got busy.
We worked three long days. On Monday morning we were exhausted yet still had all that inventory to price and display. This is when our Candlelight Miracle happened. Friends and friends of friends appeared all day, dropping by to see how we were doing. Shopkeepers, our new neighbors, also came in, offering suggestions and display ideas. Everyone stayed and helped price and display the work. Lizz Taylor of Poor Richard’s Books went to the bank and brought us money to put in our cash register - something that had never entered our minds.
With the help of friends and strangers we managed to open right at 5 pm, the start of the Candlelight Tour. The store looked great, all the work was priced and out, and we were filled with gratitude and wonder. What a marvelous community Frankfort is, filled with generous people willing to help a new business get started.
That connection to our community has continued throughout the past 21 years. We are part of a wonderful downtown with strong ties to one another. As we celebrate yet another Candlelight Tour we’ll be thinking of that first one and all the people that helped make it happen.