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Green Christmas Expected in Small Town

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CLARKSVILLE, VA — It's going to be a blue Christmas for some Virginia retailers. But, as they report lagging holiday sales, a small community near the North Carolinaborder is hoping to see green, when merchants close the books on theholiday season.

The little town of Clarksville sprung for a set of new Christmasdecorations this year. Folks in this tiny town of 1,400 residents areoptimistic that the holiday rush will treat their community well. Town manager Melinda Moran says that Clarksville is a perfect place forfolks who want to escape the traffic jams and frustration of bigcities.

But, folks in Clarksville expect the same kind of holiday deals found inthose busy metropolitan areas, like Richmond and Raleigh. Local floristAmy Guptonsays Clarksville's holiday season has been good, but it isn't what it usedto be.

The florist has been very busy throughout December, because of theseason and small town service, according to assistant ShannonMann.

Clarksville is on the verge of a renaissance. New business is poppingup along Main Street. Industry is taking a close, optimistic look at theClarksville area, and the town is scheduled for its first highway bypass.Christmas looks pretty good there, says local merchant Frank Ruff.

Clarksville's economic good fortune is not something they expect to getfrom Santa Claus. It is something they hope to get, one customerat a time.