Christmas Around Town takes over downtown TR

THREE RIVERS — Downtown Three Rivers was abuzz over the weekend, as local shoppers flocked to Main Street and W. Michigan Avenue to partake in Christmas Around Town and Small Business Saturday.
Saturday and Sunday were chock-full of events and attractions including the United Way cookie walk, Santa at the Riviera Theatre, a reindeer petting zoo, carriage rides, Ridgeway Floral’s Holiday Open House, Breakfast with Santa at the Three Rivers Community Center, New Hope Holiday Center’s gift wrapping station, Santa’s Workshop and “Stroll the Streets,” which featured a cast of characters comprised of SpongeBob SquarePants, Minnie and Mickey Mouse as well as Santa Claus, greeting shoppers downtown.
Executive Director of the Three Rivers DDA David Vago said it was good to see people “walking the streets” downtown and the ultimate goal is to make the consistent flow of foot traffic seen throughout the weekend a regular phenomenon.
“It’s definitely good to see people out walking the streets and kind of loving Three Rivers,” Vago said. “I think I’ve said it before to you and been quoted saying it but I’m happy to say it again; this is what we’re going for. This is the kind of traffic that we eventually believe we’ll be able to sustain all of the time down here, which means our Christmas crowds will only get bigger.
“Certainly with the coming of the brewery and restaurants we have waiting on deck to open up here, it should be a good place to spend time.”
Parker Jewelers owner Darrell Parker said this year’s turnout appeared to be “much better than previous years,” which he attributes to the United Way’s cookie walk and “great planning” by the DDA.
“It’s been wonderful, I want to thank the United Way for their great, brilliant idea with the cookies thing, it was just wonderful, everybody enjoyed that,” Parker said. “A lot of people came downtown to see Santa Claus, it’s just a great thing. It’s nice because the DDA, all of the merchants and other people got involved and the community came down and supported it. It’s good to see people try to help get downtown Three Rivers going again.”

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