Dowagiac businesses look forward to ‘Holidays By Moonlight’ shopping event

DOWAGIAC — It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in downtown Dowagiac.

Front Street businesses are preparing for the “Holidays By Moonlight” shopping event, taking place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10.

The event was created by Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce members to offer community members an exclusive, safe evening of holiday shopping after regular store hours.

“We’re super excited about it,” said Claudia Zebell, owner of Rosy Tomorrows, 120 S. Front St., Dowagiac. “A colleague said she had trouble getting people to shop, and was wondering if shops could stay open longer. We asked businesses if they were open to it and they agreed. We’ll have businesses offering discounts, hourly drawings and more.”

Each participating Front Street business will be open late as they roll out special discounts, drawings, sweets and entertainment for visiting patrons.

“We hope this lets people know that we’re in the spirit,” said June Nemeth, owner of Yarn On Front, 122 S. Front St., Dowagiac. “We’re trying to let people know that downtown Dowagiac has a lot to offer them. People need a boost and people need a space that allows them to do some shopping in a safe environment. That’s our number one goal.”

Businesses hope the event will give customers a taste of the holiday spirit. Dowagiac’s 30th annual Candlelight Christmas Parade, which was planned to be hosted as a reverse parade on Friday, Dec. 4 at Southwestern Michigan College, was canceled due to COVID-related restrictions.

“We hope that this will hopefully drive a bit of business downtown,” Nemeth said. “People are feeling cautious due to the pandemic. We hope this will bring them in and hopefully this will spread a bit of cheer and kickstart the holiday season.”

Zebell hopes that the event will encourage would-be customers to dine-in at local restaurants, which are tentatively scheduled to reopen next week following the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ three-week closure of dine-in services at bars and restaurants.

“We’re looking forward to a fun evening of community,” Zebell said. “It’s been a rough year, so it will be a nice opportunity for communities to have a festive time.”

Participating businesses include: Art Enah Suit, 115 S. Front St., Dowagiac; Booth’s Country Florist & Gifts, 111 Commercial St., Dowagiac; Bow Wow Bakery & Bath, 145 S. Front St, Dowagiac; Caruso’s Candy Kitchen, 130 S. Front St., Dowagiac; Cottage Gallery; Deck the Halls, 202 S. Front St., Dowagiac; The Marshall Shoppe, 138 S. Front St., Dowagiac; Oh My, Old Made New, 206 S. Front St., Dowagiac; Olympia Books, 208 S. Front St., Dowagiac;  Vincent J. Jewelers, 118 S. Front St., Dowagiac; Who Knew? Consignment, 119 S. Front St., Dowagiac; Wood Fire Italian Trattoria, 134 S. Front St., Dowagiac; Yarn on Front; Rosy Tomorrows.

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