COLORADO SPRINGS — The annual Holiday Stroll happened in downtown Colorado Springs on Wednesday evening. It's hosted by the Downtown Colorado Springs Partnership, and it’s encouraging people to shop local and shop small this holiday season.
Christmas carolers and musicians were in the area, a hot chocolate stand to grab hot cocoa was up, and Santa and the Grinch were strolling around town too.
There are more than 180 locally owned businesses in the downtown area, and for many, he holiday shopping season is one of the busiest times of the year.
“The holiday is really our bread and butter, and it's just this chance for our artists to kind of showcase what they've been working on all year long,” said Peri Bolts, founder and co-owner of Eclectic Co. on Tejon St.
Eclectic Co. opened in November of 2018, and the business is going on five years of being open for the holiday season.
Bolts said the business features items, products and artwork from 75 local artists. One of the most enjoyable parts for her, is connecting with the local community.
“Sometimes you get to meet the person that made the gift that you're getting, and it makes my heart so happy to see those connections and just see people say like, ‘oh my gosh, you made this.’ It's so beautiful,” said Bolts.
Many of the businesses like hers, that are participating in the holiday stroll, are also staying open late.
“So it's a great time if you normally can't catch us during regular business hours, and then all the different promotions that downtown does, just really it's a win win,” said Bolts.
Businesses are also offering deals and specials, so you can find that perfect gift for your family members or friends.
“We just try to support the downtown area and Colorado Springs in general,” said Gretchen Werschky, who was Christmas shopping downtown on Wednesday. “Those stocking stuffers I look for, you want to find something unique, and these little shops have those little things that you can purchase.”
In the downtown area, 90% of the businesses are locally owned, according to the Downtown Partnership.
“It's so important to shop local and shop small, because when you do that 70% of your money stays here in our communities and stays here supporting your neighbors,” said Carrie Simison, the director of communications and marketing with the Downtown Partnership.
So if you still need to find those Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers, Simison said consider shopping local.
“When you spend that money here, it doesn't just help the business that you spend at, and help them continue to employ people, it helps to make the whole community better,” said Simison.
There will be another holiday stroll happening on Saturday December 17, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
You can also shop local and win local this holiday season. For every $50 you spend, you can submit your receipts and be entered to win a gift basket and a grand prize of $1,000. That ends on Sunday, December 11.
For more information about these initiates and shopping downtown, click here.
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