WEST TOWN — A few dozen mom-and-pop shops in West Town are teaming up to entice shoppers to buy gifts locally on the day after Black Friday when big box stores and online deals dominate the market.
“We are giving the holiday shopping season back to the small, independently-owned businesses by showcasing the one-of-a-kind-finds from local artisans, galleries and boutiques in the neighborhood,” said Kara Salgado, Executive Director of the West Town Chicago Chamber of Commerce.
Salgado described WinterFest, set for noon to 7 p.m. on Nov. 28, as "an economic development initiative intended for the community to put their money where they live."
This year's WinterFest also coincides with American Express' Small Business Saturday, a nationwide effort to encourage gift buyers to support mom and pop stores.
According to a news release, WinterFest will connect shoppers to dozens of West Town stores located along Division Street, Chicago and Grand avenues via Jolly Trolley Tours, which will take folks on three-hour guided shopping tours that include complimentary food at a "hospitality" stop.
Shoppers who buy a $15 trolley tour ticket will get a $30 gift certificate to use at participating shops in January or February. The tours are from noon to 3 p.m. or 4 to 7 p.m.
The tours will depart from Eurofurniture, 2145 W. Grand Ave., which will serve as WinterFest's "Headquarters," where folks can browse some holiday pop-up shops and pick up tickets for the Jolly Trolley.
Those who do not wish to buy tickets for the curated shopping tours are still invited to attend West Town WinterFest for free, as there are no tickets or admittance fee necessary to visit participating locations.
Along with WinterFest, the streets and stores will be adorned with holiday decor and a "Shop the Block" pop up retail event is scheduled to happen simultaneously on Chicago and Damen avenues.
For more info, visit WinterFest's website.
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