Local merchants spruce up

Shop Local! is the call in Hollister

HOLIDAY DEALS Valerie Kemp checks out a clothing rack at Western Roundup in downtown Hollister, owned by Jane Merrill, who organizes Vaquero Days.

It’s not yet Thanksgiving, but volunteers and business owners in Hollister this week began preparing for holiday shoppers, decorating stores and stringing lights.

Thirty trees donated by Bourdet’s Christmas Trees are being decorated by local nonprofit groups, and will be given to San Benito County families in need.

“Shop local” is the again the primary theme of local merchants. For many of them, fourth-quarter sales can make or break their income goals for the year.

Nov. 25 may be Small Business Saturday, but local merchants and restaurants are counting on big turnouts this weekend, as well as the day after Thanksgiving and the weekend that follows.

The City Council did its part this week, unanimously approving a holiday season-long suspension of timed parking enforcement in city parking lots, Nov. 24 through Jan. 2.

“As a convenience for downtown merchants and shoppers during the holiday shopping season, parking time restrictions suspended for the entire downtown district from November 24, 2017 and ending midnight on January 2, 2018,” the council said in its resolution.

Officials said there are 374 parking spaces in the parking lots downtown. Estimated parking revenue for the suspension period is about $5,000.

The big night is of course the 27th annual Lights On Celebration by the Hollister Downtown Association on Saturday, Nov. 25.

On that day, the Holiday Car Display from 10am to 2pm will feature Central Coast Muscle Car Classics at Seventh and San Benito Streets.

The front of Veterans’ Memorial Building, 649 San Benito St. will offer the best vantage point for the 5:30pm “Winter Wonderland” parade, featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will pose for photos beginning at 7pm.

On Thanksgiving day, Off The Chain Bikes is hosting its annual 33-mile turkey day ride starting at the bike shop at 101 McCray St. at 8:00 am, rain or shine.

Local merchants are offering new merchandise, holiday decorations and in many cases special holiday discounts. Nationally, Black Friday discounts average 37 percent.

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