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The 2020 Holiday Season in Emporia

Avatar photo by Jessica Buchholz, Events Coordinator | November 5, 2020

I know this sounds a little repetitive, but holiday events are a little different this year. With so much change in the world, we wanted to let you know what the protocols are for upcoming holiday related activities. Specifically, we have three upcoming events (two former favorites, and one new addition).
Saturday, November 14th- Holiday Open House: This event is designed as a holiday kick off to showcase new products and services for the Holiday Season. Businesses will have drawings and other surprises as they showcase a festive atmosphere for shoppers. Our website (www.emporiamainstreet.com ) will showcase participating businesses in this inaugural event for Emporia.
Saturday, November 28th- Small Business Saturday: Emporia Main Street has been a champion for Small Business Saturday since the events national adoption within the National Main Street Center. For the past several years, shoppers focused their buying activities on small businesses the Saturday immediately following Thanksgiving. This year, we will expand upon last year’s popular “Elf Hunt”, with prize drawings for those that fill out their Small Business Saturday passports. A listing of businesses can be found a little closer to the event at www.emporiamainstreet.com .
Thursday, December 10th- Moonlight Madness: Everyone’s favorite late night shopping event will take place again this year, with specials, drawings and other surprises. Last year we added game elements to the Moonlight Madness activities, but social distancing and contact requirements will shelve the games for 2020. Every participating store will have different focal points for products and services, with some progressive activities happening in each store throughout the night!
There are a few activities that won’t happen this year. Last year we were happy to partner with an outside organization and Santa made a visit for local kids. Close contact protocols mean that we can’t engage that partnership this year. Horse drawn carriage rides have been a staple of the downtown Christmas experience in Emporia for the last two decades, but the proximity of riders and the nature of the event don’t lend themselves to a community in pandemic. We will have to shelve the carriage rides until 2021.
We will have Emporia Main Street gift certificates available for businesses and individuals that love to give the gift of shopping local! Collectable holiday ornaments and new locally branded merchandise will be out soon! The great folks at Gerald Schumann Electric found a work around with the holiday ornaments and sound system that will allow Christmas music that is unimpeded by the wreath light activation hardware (in layman’s terms, we will have more holiday music this year).
Your support for small businesses is always critical, but particularly so this year. The year 2020 isn’t something we want to replicate again (ever), but your purchases from local businesses can set the foundation for a stronger local “post-COVID” recovery (whenever that happens). Please mark the event dates above on your calendar, and participate as a business or as a consumer. Invite your friends and colleagues to do the same. We vote for the type of community we want with the dollars we spend, and your spending can help create a merry and brighter future for our community through your support for local and locally owned businesses!

About the Author

Jessica Buchholz, Events Coordinator

Jessica Buchholz is the Community Development Coordinator for Emporia Main Street in Emporia, Kansas. She specializes in event planning, volunteer recruitment, alternative marketing, media/public relations and fundraising. During Jessica's tenure at Emporia Main Street, she has helped grow events to an international level and she has created a series of new activities to meet organizational goals.