Dowagiac chamber to host Holiday Open House

Published 1:22 pm Thursday, November 2, 2023

DOWAGIAC — Christmas may be 53 days away, but downtown Dowagiac businesses are gearing up to celebrate early.

The Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce will host its Holiday Open House Weekend Dec. 9-11. Sponsored by Ascension Borgess-Lee, the open house will feature downtown businesses kicking off the holiday season offering holiday gift products, specials and promotions.  

The smell of gingerbread and the sight of Santa will help to usher in Christmas in Dowagiac.

Additional activities will take place on Saturday. The Baker’s Rhapsody continues their holiday tradition of a Gingerbread Competition. This year entries are to be movie themed. Participants can pick up a kit from the bakery or build from scratch following the posted rules; entries will be on display during Open House weekend and people can vote for their favorite.

Additional activities are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 11, including when the most special of guests, Santa, will be receiving visitors at Venue 132 on Front Street from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

An Elf will be hiding on shelves in multiple businesses this year. Families can visit participating sites on Saturday, and, after locating the elves, enter their form in a drawing to win a gift certificate. Participating businesses include, but are not limited to Baker’s Rhapsody, Bow Wow Bakery and Bath, Cottage Gallery, Deck the Halls, Dowagiac Democrats, Dowagiac Public Library, Flowers by Anna, Oak and Ash BBQ, Olympia Books, The Marshall Shoppe, Rosy Tomorrows, Salted Words, Schoff Solutions, Venue 132, Who Knew Consignment, and Wounded Minnow Saloon.

Also on Saturday, show your pet holiday love with a Christmas Pet Photo at Bow Wow Bakery & Bath where Blue Print Photography will be taking pet pictures 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; the Ladies Library Association will hold their Fall Book Sale Nov. 11 from 9 a.m. to 2p.m.; Theta Mu will host their 26th Annual Arts and Craft show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Dowagiac Middle School. 

“Holiday traditions like visiting Santa and gift shopping are so much more meaningful when done locally,” said Matt Money, Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce Marketing and Events Coordinator. “Seeking out special things at special places – right here in our community.” 

Ascension Borgess-Lee Hospital will host their Tree of Love Ceremony, Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 5:30 p.m. at Farr Park, next to the hospital. The tree of pink lights pays tribute to those battling or who have lost their lives to breast cancer. Each light will represent a memorial or honoree. 

The holiday celebrations continue Friday, Dec. 1, when Dowagiac’s annual Candlelight Christmas Parade steps off downtown at 7 p.m. and at Breakfast with Santa hosted by Dowagiac Elks Lodge, Dec. 9. Call the lodge for details.