Shop and Stroll draws holiday shoppers

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


While temperatures did fall Friday evening as the sun went down, the winds remained calm, making it a good evening for Washington residents to visit the downtown area and be part of the Main Street Washington Shop and Stroll.

According to Main Street director Sarah Grunewaldt a good number of people turned out to the annual event that highlights businesses in downtown Washington. While there is no way to get an accurate count of the number of people who attended the event, Grunewaldt said the business owners were very happy with the turnout.

?Overall I think everyone was really happy,? Grunewaldt said. ?We had some new participants who didn?t know what to expect and they were happy. I think it was a successful event that we do every year. We will evaluate it to see what the store owners want to change and want to stay the same, but overall I think everyone was pleased with the turnout and the sales numbers they had.?

The Shop and Stroll is a night where businesses stay open later than usual for some pre-Christmas holiday shopping. She said the event highlights the gifts and merchandise available in Washington.

Grunewaldt also said the trees that were sold for the Lights of Love Memory Trees were put up in Central Park over the weekend. She said they will be lighted Saturday night with the rest of the square. This is the first year Main Street Washington offered 6-foot cut Christmas trees to be displayed in Central Park from Thanksgiving to New Year?s in memory of a loved one. Proceeds from the event go to fund the Main Street program. The trees can be purchased through Friday. Grunewaldt said she believed 28 of the 30 trees available had been purchased.

On Nov. 25, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the area will have its Holiday Blitz with back-to-back activities. While in the past SNOW was held Friday night and continued through Saturday morning, the event was changed last year so all the events were held Saturday.

The morning begins at 8 a.m. with Breakfast with Santa in the United Presbyterian Church. Also at 8 a.m. the annual Jingle Bell Run begins from the Washington Square. Santa?s House opens at 4 p.m. With the sale of the former library building, Santa?s House is now located at the iTech building.

The Washington Community Theater will have a live broadcast of ?Miracle on 34th Street? at the library from 6 to 7 p.m.

At 7 p.m., the lighting ceremony will be done on the bandshell with the parade following immediately after, she added.

Santa?s House also will be opened for visitors for about an hour and a half after the parade.

Santa?s House also will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. on Nov. 26. The Washington Chamber of Commerce also will hold its tour of homes on Dec. 2.