EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE: The Holly Jolly Tradition


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A first ever is about to happen December 11th and 12th in the Port City. It’s a couple years in the making and our Extraordinary Person of the Week is part of the reason this ‘first ever’….ever happened.

“We love it when people come downtown,” Sylvia Kochler said, “to see our beautiful historic downtown and see our beautiful historic homes and walk around and enjoy what we have.”

There is no mistaking the history that lines the streets of Historic Downtown Wilmington, but there’s something missing. It’s not the beautiful sunsets because we see them all the time. It’s not the wonderful local businesses because they line the streets too. We’re talking about something just for this time of year that everyone can take part in.

“A few of us back in 2013,” Kochler said, “decided Wilmington needed its own signature holiday event.”

Sylvia Kochler is president of ROW, or ‘Residents of Old Wilmington‘. “We(ROW) have fundraising, do grants to promote beautification, preservation, the arts, childrens projects,” she said.

This year, they’ve teamed up with several Downtown Wilmington organizations to start a tradition.

“We decided as a college town, as a town with a lot of arts, and history,” Kochler said, “that we needed to have something that was part Mardi Gras, part maritime, part holiday, and that’s what the Holly Jolly is all about.”

This is the first ever Holly Jolly Holiday Stroll, an enormous free family friendly open house style event where you’ll find street musicians, performers, tours, and all things festive.

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Santa is even taking a break from the North Pole to hang out on the Henrietta for a ride in to town for this one. It’s put together by extraordinary folks in the Port city who have created this signature event.

“We just think it’s going to be fun and festive and family oriented and a great thing for the holidays.”

It sure is Sylvia Kochler, our Extraordinary Person of the Week!

For a rundown of events for the Holly Jolly Holiday Stroll, click here.

Categories: Community, Extraordinary People Next Door, Features

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