Main Street Lexington hosts annual Jingle Bell Run, raises holiday spirits

The annual Jingle Bell Run raises awareness and support for local businesses in downtown Lexington

Alexandra Cline

Clinking and clattering through the streets of Lexington, participants in the local Jingle Bell Run brought festive outfits and holiday spirit to the annual tradition.

On Dec. 3, runners and walkers raced through downtown as a part of a fundraiser benefitting Main Street Lexington, a volunteer-based organization dedicated to sustaining and promoting the city.

For those on the organization’s board, the annual event allows members of the community to support the economic development of Lexington while meeting others in the area.

Skylar Beaver is a Main Street Lexington board member and the director of annual giving at Washington and Lee.

“It’s such a wonderful organization,” Beaver said. “I moved here about three years ago, and it’s a great way to give back to the place you love.”

In a small community, those employed in the area understand the

importance of public support for businesses and the economy. As the site of many small businesses, Lexington relies on funding from tourism and locals–including W&L students–to sustain its growth.

“It’s a good way to connect with the community,” Annie Jeckovich, ‘18, said. “[Kappa Alpha] Theta sponsored 10 girls to do the run, so it’s supporting a great cause.”

Aside from students, locals in the area also donated their time and efforts to the event in order to bring awareness to the area’s economic needs.

“It’s a great way to give back to an organization like Main Street Lexington,” Mandy Miller, a Main Street Lexington board member, said. “I work at Southern Inn, and I wanted to get involved in the cause to help support the community.”

The Jingle Bell Run first started in 2012, after the Nelson Street bridge underwent construction and was reopened to the public. The day’s events included an opening ceremony, activities and the festive run–now in its fourth year.

“My favorite part of it is seeing the community out, excited and active early in the morning,” said Jamie Goodin, who is the president of the board of Main Street Lexington.

Participants in the race had the option of running a traditional 5K or walking a 1.5-mile route, either of which was open to runners and walkers of all abilities and ages.

For the younger members of the community, the event featured a Tot Trot across the Nelson Street bridge. Dogs and joggers with

strollers were also welcome to join the festivities, which included prizes and official timing of the race.

To create additional holiday spirit, the event’s organizers provided mini-sleigh bells for all runners to attach to their shoes–bringing added jingle all through the streets of town.