2017-12-14 / Editorial

Time to extend the holiday joy

We’ve just completed another holiday stroll in town, and, again, it was a great day enjoyed by many.

It brings people to Jamestown to shop and see what our downtown has to offer. Yet, what happens after the crowds fade? According to several merchants, it’s a grim three weeks between then and Christmas.

So why not take a page from what other communities do and prolong the good feelings by extending the celebration into a second weekend?

After all, there’s a lot going on that Saturday with events at Beavertail, Lawn School, the library, the fire station, all three churches, Santa’s arrival and the tree lighting, as well as all the shops along the avenue trying to attract customers. For some people, that’s too much and they can’t make it to all of the places they’d like to go, making them miss out on some of the offerings.

There are several ways to address this, but here are some suggestions: n Have merchants provide a coupon (or discounted chamber bucks) during the stroll that are redeemable during the second weekend or a subsequent time frame. n Tie a second day into a “Taste of Jamestown”- type event focusing on our dining establishments, which can offer specials for that day. n Bring back the giant Christmas card people used to sign at East Ferry. n Have an ice sculpture-carving contest at East Ferry. n Have the Jamestown Community Band or a kid-themed show that evening to cap off the day. n Move some of the current events to the second weekend so people aren’t cannibalizing each other’s business by so many people selling arts and crafts or food in so many parts of town.

These all would provide townspeople and visitors the chance to go to a handful of places each during the two weekends as opposed to choosing just a few on the one weekend.

There’s no single answer on how to improve and expand on the success of the holiday stroll; perhaps it’s something for the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce or a separate committee to examine in more detail with community input.

Yet, there does seem to be opportunity to attract people to town for a second weekend to show them all Jamestown has to offer. We should find ways to take advantage of that opportunity.

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