Downtown is glowing with holiday cheer this season. The tall evergreen tree sparkles on Court Square in front of the Courthouse, store windows display festive holiday scenes, and wreaths and white lights line the streets.
Holiday spirit in downtown isn’t just evident in the decorations. The first weekend of the month was full of holiday events, with the Harrisonburg Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday night and the second annual Shop Til You Drop: Holiday Open House on Saturday night! What better way to kick off the holiday season?
At Shop Til You Drop, store owners eagerly awaited holiday shoppers and had light refreshments available to make the shopping experience more festive. Tracy Fornadel presented mini cupcakes and macaroons at her cozy RubyRed Shoe Boutique.
Across the way, Sara Christensen offered lemonade and frosted sugar cookies at vintage and home goods store, The Lady Jane. Anna Melton Pelletier, of neighboring store Mint, offered beverages, cheese, and crackers to her customers as they browsed the latest clothing, accessories, and gifts.
“We’ve been steadily busy all day and hopefully it just continues to stay steady,” Anna remarked.
In addition to light refreshments, each store was happy to offer irresistible sales or special promotions. Tracy Fornadel offered 20% off select holiday shoes, and buy one/get one 50% off select accessories.
At The Lady Jane, all holiday decorations and vintage dishes were buy one/get one 50% off, all framed art was 40% off, and journals, stationary, and books were 25% off.
Meanwhile, down the block, Downtown Wine and Gourmet offered free wine and beer tastings. After shopping at the local boutiques and retail establishments, I met up for a glass of wine with neighbors and friends of mine, Connie and Penny, who had also chosen to take advantage of the sales.
Shop Til You Drop turned out to be a family event as well. While at Laughing Dog T-Shirts & Gifts, I met a mother, daughter, and daughter-in-law trio, Twila, Melinda, and Andrea, who were checking out the Annual Sterling Silver Jewelry Show which coincided with Shop Til You Drop. “I think this is a great event” said Twila.
While Shop Til You Drop was for one night only, some downtown shops are offering holiday sales this week, perfect for last minute holiday shopping! Get away from the hustle and bustle of the mall environment and come downtown to enjoy a nice, relaxing, and stress-free shopping experience.
Eliza Seibert is a writing intern at Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance and a senior Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communications major at James Madison University.