After you’ve awakened from your Thanksgiving turkey coma, get ready for some local Christmas fun, as the coming week is packed with festive shopping events sponsored by the El Campo Chamber of Commerce.
The fate of the annual Small Business Saturday, Hometown Holiday Shop Hop and Christmas Mall was uncertain during the last few months, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. After some slight safety modifications, chamber leaders opted to continue with these holiday traditions.
“We are very excited to host these events,” EC Chamber President Rebecca Munos said. “It’s something they really look forward to, and I’m glad we’re still able to have (them).”
Small Business Saturday
Don’t forget your wallet, bargain-hunting skills and love of shopping local when you head out for Small Business Saturday today in El Campo.
The event, sponsored by the Chamber and the City Development Corporation, encourages shoppers to support El Campo area businesses when shopping for Christmas gifts, instead of visiting a big box store. Almost 20 stores are participating in this year’s event, offering discounts on items like furniture, clothing, hardware, home decor and more.
Small Business Saturday includes the chance to win $170 in gift cards by shopping at local merchants. Shoppers pick up a Small Business Saturday passport at a participating store and get it stamped every time they make a purchase. Once five stamps are earned, the passport can be entered in the gift card drawing.
To qualify for the drawing, passports must be turned in at the Chamber office, 1 N. Mechanic, by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 2.
Small Business Saturday will be held during regular store hours today, Saturday, Nov. 28.
Hometown Holiday Shop Hop
Just a few days later, on Tuesday, the annual Shop Hop event offers shoppers the chance to win gift cards, get discounts at local restaurants and eat holiday snacks while they visit participating businesses all over town.
“We have heard a lot of buzz, and everyone is very excited to ring in the holiday season with one of our favorite events,” Munos said. “We have several other businesses getting in on the fun and there will be much more than in years past.”
Each purchase from a participating business counts as an entry in a drawing to win $500 in gift cards. First, second and third place winners will be chosen.
Businesses are required to follow COVID-19 safety regulations set by state mandate including having hand sanitizer available and requiring masks be worn when indoors.
“Please remember to wear your face masks, sanitize and wash your hands frequently, and we strongly encourage everyone to social distance,” Munos said.
Texas Coast Limo will be driving shoppers to Shop Hop locations from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wristbands for this service cost $8 if purchased before tomorrow, Nov. 29 and $10 cash if purchased the day of. For more information, call 979-578-8631.
Shop hop will take place 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1. Check your handy copy of the Leader-News for a Shop Hop guide and list of participating stores.
Another chance to shop local for Christmas presents will be offered at the 33rd annual Christmas Mall. Local vendors will be setting up shop for two days, offering a variety of goods, including jewelry, yard decor, clothing and more.
Typically between 1,000 and 2,000 shoppers attend this weekend-long event, but this year, event attendance will be limited.
“The El Campo Civic Center is operating at 50 percent capacity, and we will be keeping count of (who goes) in and out,” Munos said. “We’re urging booths to have their own sanitizer available for shoppers, but we will have sanitizer stations set up as well.”
Shoppers will be treated to daily entertainment and the chance to take pictures with Santa, who will be stopping by the El Campo Museum (inside the Civic Center). Santa photos are by appointment. For more information on Santa photos, visit www.facebook.com/El-Campo-Museum-of-Natural-History-95892198497.
The mall will be held at the Civic Center, 2350 N. Mechanic, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6.
Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for children under 12 and free for kids not old enough to attend school. One ticket covers entry for both days. The cost of a vendor spot is $75 for non-profit organizations, $125 for Chamber members and $200 for non-members.
The registration form for Christmas Mall vendors can be found on the Chamber’s website, www.elcampochamber.com.
Gingerbread Run Coming Dec. 9
Another $350 in prizes is up for grabs starting Wednesday, Dec. 9 in the Gingerbread Run sponsored by the El Campo Leader-News and the City Development Corporation of El Campo.
Get an entry card in the Leader-News’ special publication Moments & Memories inside the Wednesday, Dec. 9 edition. Participants then have a week to earn some last minute Christmas cash by visiting 18 local businesses and collecting a sticker at each.
“Most participating businesses are located in the downtown section, North Mechanic and North Wharton streets. You could literally swoop through all of them in an afternoon,” El Campo Leader-News Publisher Shannon Crabtree said.
CDC Executive Director Carolyn Gibson added, “Grab a friend and make a day. Have some fun, win some money while you Shop LOCAL! Support our businesses and you support our community’s economy.”
Entry blanks should be dropped off at the Leader-News, 203 E. Jackson, by 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16.
First place will receive $200, second place $100 and third place $50.
Winners will be announced in the Saturday, Dec. 19 Leader-News.
“Have you shopped locally lately? Our stores and restaurants have so much to offer. Get your Christmas shopping done and never leave town,” Gibson said.