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The downtown area of Lincolnton is truly a gem. Even in the era of COVID, to take the time to walk around and even just look in the windows that are all decorated for the holidays can bring great joy and it’s free. In a combined effort between the City of Lincolnton, the Downtown Development Association of Lincolnton and the Lincoln County Public Library, window shopping has become even more interesting – especially to children.

Another of the Lincoln County Public Library’s wonderful “StoryWalks” has been installed in downtown Lincolnton.

“It was the library’s idea and we co-sponsored with the City of Lincolnton,” Betty Flohr, the DDA’s executive director said. “We felt like it was an event that families could get out and do safely with their kids. It gets them to be out and see our downtown merchants. A lot of times people drive through, but they don’t walk through.”

A StoryWalk is essentially a book that has been dismembered, laminated and presented page by page on a trail, bike path or in store windows to promote both reading and exercise. 

The Lincoln County Public Library has StoryWalks at several other locations including the West Lincoln Park, . 

The story that is posted in the windows of 15 downtown businesses is, "Bear Stays Up for Christmas,” by Karma Wilson. In the story, Bear’s friends try to keep him awake for Christmas. His friends try all sorts of different holiday-themed ways to keep him awake. Does Bear stay up? Take a walk downtown and find out.

Not only does a StoryWalk promote literacy, it also invited exercise and play. Included on each of the pages of the book are activities, for example, “Stretch like a bear and squeak like a mouse as you go to the next page,” and literacy tips, “mimicking the movements of characters makes the story come alive and adds play to a traditionally still activity.” It’s an activity that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike.

The walk to read and participate in “Bear Stays Up for Christmas” begins at The Meating Place and continues to Endless Color & Company, House of Trophies and Engraving, Just Around the Corner, Guitar Wishes, Benny's Boutique, Key2 Health & Wellness, The Owl's Nest, Bloom Market, Treasures on Main, 7th Moon Boutique, Game Swap, Fausto Coffee, Good Wood Pizza and ends at Court Street Grill and Habibi Frozen Yogurt. This is a temporary installation. The story will be posted through the beginning of the year.

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