Downtown for the holidays: City, community organizations celebrate and shop locally for the season

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By Sadie Hunter

Supporting local business is not a new concept for Noblesville, and similar to years past, the City of Noblesville, Hamilton County, downtown merchants and local organizations like the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce, Noblesville Main Street and Nickel Plate Arts will join together to make the holiday season hyper-focused on downtown Noblesville and its historic courthouse square.

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY

Coming from what many may consider an unlikely source, the concept of Small Business Saturday – this year on Nov. 28 – was created by American Express as a response to major shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The “shop small” campaign began as just that, an advertising campaign, but quickly spread into towns and cities across the nation, eventually making its way to other countries.

Celebrating five years since its inception, local business owners at popular downtown stores like A Corner Cottage, 895 Conner St., will open their doors and encourage shoppers to step inside, often offering significant sales and discounts.

“Many of our customers on that Saturday tell us that even though they don’t own an American Express card, they are visiting to buy from local merchants anyway. I love that,” said Peggy Kumler, owner of A Corner Cottage. “It is important for customers to be aware of all that small businesses offer. All of the money spent downtown, stays downtown; we daily support important charities and schools with money, gifts and gift certificates.”

Kumler said many of her customers are from out of town.

“(They) can’t say enough about the offerings of our downtown. They have seen first hand beautiful downtown cities that have not become as vital as ours,” she said.

On the day, Noblesville Main Street will encourage shopping downtown by guiding buyers to the stores they’re looking for at an information tent outside Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano, 40 N. Ninth St.

“Our hope is that we can be a resource to connect visitors and locals with our independent merchants. I see this as a great opportunity to help people connect with our historic downtown,” said Chris Owens, executive director of Noblesville Main Street. “The appeal to me is based on personal connections that can be forged with many of the store owners and employees.  These folks are the life of their business and it shows.  By supporting local, small business, you are supporting local families, and that goes a long way in keeping the authentic and historic feel in our downtown.”

“I feel our merchants offer a higher sense of value and a personal connection,” Owens said. “If I need information about a product or have questions, I know I can talk with someone locally, face to face.  Downtown Noblesville is reliant on personal connections, and that’s part of what makes the shopping experience different with an independent retailer.”

ANNUAL TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY AND CELEBRATION

The Noblesville Chamber of Commerce will sponsor the annual tree lighting ceremony inside the Hamilton County Government and Judicial Center, 1 Hamilton County Square, beginning at 7 p.m., Nov. 27.

Just after, city and county officials and other community leaders will light the downtown square’s lights and trees, to be displayed through the New Year.

“(The ceremony) will feature Mayor John Ditslear reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,’ a David Hartman Trio and Susan and Micah Beckwith Sing Along as well as the Noblesville High School Singers,” said Mary Noble, director of Business Development for the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce.

But prior to the main event, Noblesville Main Street will host dozens of ice sculptures, from 5 to 7 p.m., decorating the perimeter of the historic county courthouse square for the third year of the Ice Festival. Guests and residents will shop downtown, enjoy free hot chocolate and spectate the sculptures in preparation for the tree lighting.

“The Ice Festival adds a great aesthetic to downtown prior to the tree lighting ceremony,” Owens said. “We use an artist, Stephan Koch of the Indiana Ice Studio to carve the sculptures.”

All sculptures are sponsored by a local business or organization.

Guests of the events can get into the holiday spirit by sending cards to veterans in VA hospitals in the state. From 6 to 7 p.m., they can stop by a “Cards for Our Troops” table in the Hamilton County Government and Judicial Center to make the cards at no cost.

ANNUAL HOLIDAY PARADE

This year’s City of Noblesville Holiday Parade will make its way through downtown Noblesville at 2 p.m. Nov. 29 after a busy weekend of holiday-related events.

Leading the parade will be Grand Marshal Garrick Mallery, a Noblesville native whose eggs are in many baskets locally. Mallery is an Air Force veteran, realtor, Noblesville High School grad, Hamilton Co. Board of Health member and more.

Holiday-themed floats and more will begin the route of the parade at 16th and Harrison Streets, continue south on 16th Street to Logan Street, west to Ninth Street, north on Ninth Street to Monument Street and east on Monument Street, ending at Monument and 16th Streets.

The parade will also bring Santa to his local holiday headquarters, his house that sits on the south side (Conner Street) of the historic courthouse.

VISIT SANTA

When: 3 to 5:30 p.m., Nov. 29; 5 to 8 p.m., Dec. 4; 1 to 4 p.m., Dec. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20; 4 to 7 p.m., Dec. 17 and 22; and Noon to 3 p.m., Dec. 23 and 24.

Where: South side/Conner Street of the historic downtown courthouse square

Info: Free to the public. Families are welcome to take their own photos. For more, call 776-6367.


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