Downtown Elizabethton prepares for holiday season with Open House

With the holiday season quickly approaching, it is also time to sort through many shopping lists and gift ideas before everything sells out. Downtown Elizabethton has many options to fill those needs, and they plan to showcase just what they have to offer.

Cathy Shoun, president of the Downtown Business Association, said they have been doing this special event for at least 20 years or even longer.

“This is one of our biggest events,” Shoun said.

On Sunday, Nov. 11, from 1 to 5 p.m., many of the businesses in downtown Elizabethton will open their doors, where people can see what the town has to offer. She said there will be decorations and refreshments, and some businesses will have special sales and promotions in addition to free gift wrapping stations.

“This is a kind of customer appreciation day,” Shoun said.

She said the event is a way to showcase what downtown has to offer, as well as helping customers get started on their Christmas shopping.

“People love it,” Shoun said. “They look forward to this every year, and we always have it on the same day: the second Sunday in November.”

She said people make a whole day out of the downtown.

“They come after church in the morning, they walk around and check out the shops,” she said. “They eat at the restaurants. It is a wonderful feeling.”

Shoun said she goes all-out in promoting the event, from going through social media like Facebook and Twitter to even running radio ads weeks in advance.

She said she enjoys seeing all the people who come to see the downtown, including meeting the new faces every year.

“You are not going to see this in the malls or box stores,” Shoun said.

The festivities do not stop on Sunday, however. Shoun said the downtown also promotes Small Shops Saturday on November 24, the day after Black Friday, when local businesses run special sales to promote their own businesses as well.

She said their dedication to their customers is what makes downtown Elizabethton unique compared to the chain stores.

“We remember our customers by their faces, by their names,” she said. “We have great, supportive customers here.”

Shoun said she looks forward to seeing new and familiar faces walking the streets of downtown this Sunday, and she said the businesses appreciate the customers who support them.

“Everybody is all geared-up,” Shoun said.

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