New Walmart delights as it serves up food and good cheer

Photo by Chris Barber Associate Tom, as he is known to the staff of the new Oxford Walmart, leads the staff in a traditional Walmart cheer on Tuesday at the preview opening party.

LOWER OXFORD --There was no lack of enthusiasm or food at the preview opening of the new Oxford Super Walmart on Tuesday night.

Scheduled for its ribbon cutting and official opening the following morning, the 180,000 square foot building and its staff played host to community leaders and just about anyone else who wanted to stop in for an advance look.

A large number of the visitors were parents of the Oxford High School band, which played outside earlier in the evening and then presented several numbers inside during the ceremony.

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Those who came were treated to sandwiches from the attached Subway store, fried chicken from the deli and cupcakes from the bakery.

Buoyed by manager Anthony Smiths energy, everyone who was asked said they were delighted to finally have a Walmart in the Oxford area.

Shopper Flo McBride of Kirkwood said she missed the Oxford Ames store when it went out of business but now she has someplace close to shop. I think its great, she said.

Anne Keene of Lincoln University said, Its the best thing thats happened to Oxford in 50 years.

Tim Halsey, also of Lincoln, said, Its wonderful. Its one-stop shopping, and you dont have to drive to Parkesburg or Kennett Square.

Addressing the guests, among others, was Lower Oxford Supervisors Chairman Ken Hershey. Its great to have a store like this in Oxford, he said.

Developer Steve Wolfson said the Oxford Walmart was his 34th one, and he didnt believe it would take 12 years. He added that it required adding three miles of water pipes from the Chester Water Authority.

Also at the welcoming ceremony, Walmart gave $1,000 grants each to Sacred Heart School, Oxford Mainstreet, Lighthouse Youth Center, Oxford Band Parents, Oxford Little League, Oxford Area Recreation Authority and Oxford Neighborhood Services.

Wolfson gave $1,000 grants to Oxford Union Fire Company, Oxford Public Library and Oxford Golden Bears Football.

The ceremony was concluded with a Walmart cheer by associates led by Associate Tom. That was followed by guided tours and refreshments.