By Mary Jo Coulehan
Special to The PREVIEW
What was once the Parade of Stores weekend shopping extravaganza has now morphed into the Holiday Hoopla, giving stores and shoppers more time to embrace the concept of “Shopping Local.”
The Hoopla event technically takes place from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15 whereby shoppers can reap the rewards of special discounts and chances to enter the prize packages. However, remember that you an always shop local.
This year, more than 35 retail stores and restaurants will be participating in the Hoopla. Let’s get started.
First off, stop by any of the participating retail stores and sign up and receive your Hoopla card. Keep this with you to use at the other participating retail stores and restaurants during this shopping period. When shopping, for every $10 you spend, you will be entered into drawings for special prize packages to be awarded after Dec. 15. Different from the Parade of Stores rules, it doesn’t matter whether you spend $10 or $100, you get one entry, not one entry for every $10 you spend. However, the same concept remains, the more you shop, the more times you can be entered in the drawings. You can also be entered multiple times in the same store if you make multiple visits and purchases.
Also, use your Hoopla card at participating restaurants to receive restaurant discounts for food and beverage specials. After all, we need sustenance when we shop ‘til we drop.
There are many opportunities to shop local during this time frame. Many stores will be offering specials only on certain days. Some stores may take advantage of national programs such as Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.
How do you know how to take advantage of these specials? Check out the Holiday Hoopla pages in this week’s The Pagosa Springs SUN PREVIEW.
Not only does your shopping dollar give almost three times the value of circulation by shopping local, you also support your friends, neighbors and community residents. Sometimes online shopping is just tough to beat. However, be thoughtful in your gift giving and try to send gifts from your community and support Pagosa Springs.
Downtown lighting and caroling Nov. 29
The Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and downtown business community will be bringing back the lighting of the Visitor Center on Nov. 29 — the day after Thanksgiving. This is a perfect time during this holiday season to gather the family and come downtown for a community experience.
Victorian carolers will be roaming the downtown district from about 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. They will be around the stores until about 5 p.m., at which time they will be at the Visitor Center/Chamber when the building will be “lit up.”
Surrounding businesses will also attempt to coordinate the downtown lighting at 5 p.m. Many of the parks and bridges are on timers, but we are aiming for the 5 p.m. time slot to light up our town. Come to the center, where hot drinks and cookies will be served and Santa will make his initial visit to the Visitor Center. Enjoy the carolers before they head back out into the downtown district.
Many of the stores in the historical district will be open until 6 or 6:30 p.m. so that shoppers can take advantage of any specials and enjoy the music. The carolers will close out their singing at The Springs Resort, so you can also take advantage of a warm and cozy place to gather after hitting the shopping streets. If you have visitors or family in town, this is a perfect opportunity to show off your community with this beautiful lighting.
Remember to get your Hoopla cards and shop local.
By Mary Jo Coulehan