Next Friday evening marks one of my favorite nights in Grinnell and helps kick off the 'most wonderful time of the year' according to Andy Williams. Jingle Bell Holiday is a fun-filled evening giving the opportunity to get out and explore our retail community - downtown sidewalks are filled with people, horse-drawn carriage rides are circling downtown, families are out enjoying treats and crafts and all the shops are decorated for the holidays. What's equally great about this event is that many service businesses and non-profit organizations get involved as well - it's wonderful to see our community come together in this way.
I'm often asked why Jingle Bell Holiday is so early in the year, and I will tell you that our retailers (and all our businesses) have to compete with the rest of the world, both box stores and online, when it comes to where customers make their purchases. In order to do this effectively, Jingle Bell Holiday is set as a kick-off to the holiday season in an effort to keep more sales local and encourage customers to see what our businesses have to offer right here in our community.
Jingle Bell Holiday activities are set for 5 to 8 p.m. next Friday evening (November 17) and we're excited to see you downtown. Dozens of businesses and organizations have things planned for the evening, including open houses and activities, a winter farmers market, photos with Santa at Grinnell State Bank and double punches on your holiday punch card for any purchases made that evening. Michelle's Dance Academy will hold a holiday dance performance followed by the tree lighting at 5:15pm from the stage in Central Park and free horse-drawn carriage rides will be available through downtown from 5:30-8pm.
A special thanks to the Claude & Dolly Ahrens Foundation, Grinnell Mutual, Grinnell College and Paragon Church for sponsoring Jingle Bell Holiday.
For a complete list of activities and participants, check out the regularly updated list on our website.