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Downtown JC businesses kick off events Saturday

Jefferson the Elf is a new addition to holiday activities in Jefferson City this year. The elf will be at a different downtown business each day after his debut at the Christmas parade.

Jefferson the Elf is a new addition to holiday activities in Jefferson City this year. The elf will be at a different downtown business each day after his debut at the Christmas parade.

Now that it’s officially November, holiday shopping and other festivities leading up to Dec. 25 are just on the horizon. Only 52 days until Christmas, and the Downtown Association has big plans when it comes to activities in downtown Jefferson City.

To kick off the holiday season, the traditional holiday open houses will be held Saturday through Monday, Nov. 9-11, in downtown. Aside from deals and special in-store events, more than 10 businesses will also host free holiday-themed classes on Saturday in conjunction with the open houses.

Downtown Association President Stephanie Bell said the classes will allow people to do more than just shop, giving residents another reason to be downtown.

Classes include suggestions on dressing, decorating and entertaining for the holiday season, as well as ornament-making and fun for the kids.

Also starting later this week will be a special holiday savings opportunity. Starting Saturday, and running through Christmas, several businesses will offer a discount with same-day proof of purchase from another participating business in downtown. For example, a customer at River City Florist & Gifts presents his/her receipt from another participating business, such as Southbank Gift Company, and receives the designated percentage off a purchase for that business (in this case — 25 percent). Each business has chosen its own savings, which range from 10 to 25 percent off items, total bills, a set dollar amount, or even a free gift with purchase.

Bell said the Downtown Association businesses want to offer the savings, and will use this holiday season as a way to see how well it works. It could become a more permanent deal in the future depending on the results.

Businesses have opted to keep the momentum of the summer’s Thursday Night Live by staying open late on Thursdays throughout November and December. With new Christmas lights set to go up, Bell said the extended hours are a great opportunity to enjoy the downtown. Thursday Night Lights will see participating stores open until 7 p.m.

Another new event will bring out the artistic side of business owners this season, while adding a unique touch to the downtown storefronts. Businesses have been challenged to create the best holiday window display to coincide with the Christmas parade theme — Home for the Holidays.

Business owners will decorate their windows in time for judging on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 30. People are encouraged to stop by the voting booths to vote for the “People’s Choice” window. Judges’ Choice will also be selected on Nov. 30.

The last day of November kicks off the first day Santa will make his presence known in downtown as well. The jolly old man will set up shop in different businesses each Saturday through Dec. 21.

Anyone visiting downtown in December should also keep an eye out for a new addition to the traditional decor. Jefferson the Elf will make his debut during the Dec. 7 Christmas Parade. After that, the 4-foot tall elf will move from business to business each day until Christmas. Bell said the hunt for Jefferson can be used as a fun family activity, and will generate more traffic into local businesses. The Downtown Association hopes people will take the time to seek out the elf, snap a photo or two and share the pictures on social media sites. Many businesses will be offering special savings on the day they house Jefferson.

Find more activities at downtownjeffersoncity.com/holidays.php.

Holiday Open House classes

• American Shoe: “Shoes for Every Outfit”

• Capitol City Cinema “Ornament Making” and Disney’s “Planes” Preview in conjunction with Macaroni Kid Jefferson City

• Capitol City CORK & Provisions: “Beer & Cheese Pairing for your Holiday” in conjunction with Fechtel Beverage & Hy-Vee

• Carrie’s Hallmark Shop: “Fun Ways to Tie a Scarf” — “How to Make Savory Crackers” — “Best Add-Ons to Your Holiday Gifts”

• Click2Sell4U/Kay’s Collectibles: “How to Research Your Collectibles”

• Downtown Book and Toy: “Learn to Play the Newest Family Game”

• I Love This Look Boutique: “‘Dressed’ For the Holidays”

• River City Florist & Gifts: “Decorating Ideas for the Holidays”

• Saffees: “Selecting the Right Jeans” & “View of Christmas Past via Christmas Jewelry”

• Southbank “Quick and Easy Holiday Entertaining Ideas”

• The XChange Boutique: “Expand Your Wardrobe”

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