NORWICH – The Norwich Merchants’ Association is attempting to bolster business this holiday season. “We want to encourage people to shop downtown,” said Lisa Mody, owner of First Edition Bookstore. The association has scheduled events for every Saturday between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“In previous years, we only had one Saturday event. Now there is something going on every Saturday,” said Anna McLaughlin, owner of McLaughlin’s Department Store. This Saturday, the events will begin with a holiday shopping kickoff. Participating merchants, including First Edition Bookstore, Ives Cream, Hayes Office Products, JC Penney Catalog, Made In Chenango Gift Shop & Gallery, Silvernails Gifts & Florist, The Fish Bowl, Mystical Touch, Skillin’s Jewelers, Coffee Connection, Arnell Music, Seasons and McLaughlin’s Department Store will remain open after the Holiday Parade of Lights, until 9 p.m. Free baby-sitting services will be available from 7:30 to 9:30 at the YMCA for children kindergarten through sixth grade. Complimentary gift wrapping will be offered at Coffee Connection with a receipt from a downtown merchant.
“Hometown Holidays” is the theme of the second week of holiday events. On Dec. 2, participating businesses will be serving free refreshments to their guests. Ives Cream will be giving away roasted chestnuts from noon until 2 p.m. Made In Chenango will hold its annual open house from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The First Edition Bookstore will hold a free story telling event, featuring “The Polar Express.” Children are encouraged to come in their pajamas to enjoy the entertainment. It will begin at 11:30.