PILSEN — A neighborhood shopping initiative kicks off Friday, alongside the annual 25th Ward tree lighting ceremony at Plaza Tenochtitlan.
This is the second year for 18 Days on 18th Street, over two weeks of Pilsen shopping deals organized by the Greater Pilsen Economic Development Association.
Soultry Shoes, 1706 S. Halsted St., will give away raffle tickets and offer discounts on accessories. Reclaimed furniture shop Modern Cooperative, 1215 W. 18th St., will offer 25 percent off all vintage furniture.
Other participants include Round Two Resale, 1529 W. 18th St.; Verde Wellness and Massage, 2122 S. Ashland Ave.; Revival a GO-GO vintage, 1653 W. 18th St.; Pl-zen gastropub, 1519 W. 18th St.; the National Museum of Mexican Art; Harbee Liquors and Tavern, 1345 W. 18th St. and many more.
"I think what’s changed is people are seeing what Pilsen truly has to offer,” said Gus Drugas, of the Development Association. “The neighbors are really friendly. They’re glad to see the new businesses here.”
According to Drugas, shoppers should check participating stores’ windows for an 18 Days on 18th Street poster, as deals will not necessarily be going on every day.
The 18 Days of Shopping officially begins alongside the 25th Ward’s tree lighting ceremony Friday, at Plaza Tenochtitlan, 1800 S. Blue Island Ave., from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. That family-friendly event will feature a visit from Santa, as well as performances from local schools and the Mexican Dance Ensemble. There will also be free cookies, pastries and hot chocolate.
In addition to that event, Greater Pilsen will also have a free guided trolley tour of the neighborhood — running from Halsted to Damen streets along 18th Street — on Dec. 13 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.