CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The holiday season will officially kick off next week in Charleston.
Santa Claus will make his grand entrance on Wednesday, November 13 at 5:30 p.m. at the Charleston Town Center Mall. This year Santa is expected to bring some of his popular friends, including Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Hermey, the elf who wants to be a dentist, and Bumble, the Snow Monster.
The group will have a special meet and greet for all the children.
Lisa McCracken, spokesperson with the Charleston Town Center Mall, tells WSAZ.com the mall has several news things planned for this holiday season.
All of the mall's holiday decor is new and a special light and music show will happen every day at center court. Shoppers can enjoy this holiday light display every day at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. This will be in addition to the annual snowfall at "Santa's Frosty Forest."
Shoppers will also have more time to shop. McCracken tells WSAZ.com the mall will open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. All the department stores are planning to offer door busters throughout the night and through 10 p.m. on Black Friday, according to McCracken.
McCracken says last year hundreds were in line waiting for the mall to open, but this year they won't have to wait. The mall will follow the national trend and open earlier to accomodate shoppers, McCracken said.
Meanwhile, renovations to the mall's Court Street entrance will wrap up on Friday for the annual Salvation Army of Charleston red kettle drive. The annual kick off is set for noon Friday.
The Court Street entrance will now offer more greenspace, some sidewalks have been moved and some additional fencing has been added.
McCracken says the new light poles around the outside of the mall have been installed and they will be turned on for the first time Monday night.
There is still some more concrete work to be done. McCracken says construction is expected to be done in the next few weeks.
A new store is also open at the mall for the holiday season. "House of Hoops" opened its first West Virginia location last Friday.
"Foot Locker" owns "House of Hoops," but it carries more high end footwear with exclusive designs and limited editions.
On Friday and Saturday, the store opened at 8 a.m. with more than 60 people waiting in line both days to check out the new store, according to McCracken.
"House of Hoops" is located on the mall's first floor, beside "Foot Locker."