WATERVILLE — The fifth annual holiday pop-up shop got some help this year from Thomas College students, who volunteered on Monday to help set up the downtown shop for its Nov. 15 opening date.

“I’m pretty excited to help out,” said Shen Black, a Thomas freshman majoring in market management.

The students helped Waterville Creates! program manager KiKa Nigals take down the “mud.” exhibit that ran from Sept. 29 to Nov. 5 at the Common Street Arts main gallery, then set up the holiday pop-up shop. The downtown shop, at 93 Main St. in The Center, will feature handmade items such as jewelry, pottery, paintings and sculptures from more than 40 artists and craftspeople.

The pop-up shop runs from Nov. 15 through Dec. 22 and is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. A special opening reception will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17.

It’s among a number of holiday events planned in the city that also include the annual downtown Parade of Lights and opening of Kringleville, Santa’s mini-village, on Nov. 25.

Thomas College economics professor Jim Libby said all of the college’s freshmen are required to do some kind of public service. Libby helped coordinate the partnership between his students at Thomas College and Waterville Creates!

Libby teaches a principles of management course for students in the Kiest-Morgan Scholar program which lets eligible students graduate with a bachelor’s degree in three years. He wanted to find a service project that was business-related for his students, he said, which is how he formed the partnership for the pop-up shop.

“A great way to serve the community is to help get a business going,” Libby said.

Setting aside time usually reserved for class to come as a group also made it easier to complete the service requirement, Black said.

In between moving clay sculptures and bringing down boxes of holiday crafts for sorting, Nigals said she appreciated the help.

“It’s going to make it much easier,” she said. It also will help the students grow as individuals, she added.

Mackenzie Carlow, a freshman majoring in business management, said she thinks the partnership is good for both the community and the students.

A few other volunteers not from Thomas College also came out to help set up the holiday shop. Barbara Chase, of Waterville, was helping Monday morning to take inventory of the crafts and art that are going to be for sale.

“They need volunteers,” said Chase, a professional painter for five years. “It’s a good artistic, cultural cause.”

This is her first year of volunteering for the pop-up shop, though she has sold her paintings through it off and on for a few years. She decided to volunteer partly because she is selling her paintings at the shop again this year, she said.

Madeline St. Amour can be contact ed at 861-9239 or at:

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