Downtowns kick off holiday shopping season

Black Friday comes early for local shoppers, as NB&T sponsors the Sycamore Chamber of Commerce’s third annual Moonlight Madness on Friday, Nov. 22, and the DeKalb chamber’s annual Hollydays, Nov. 22-24.

For Moonlight Madness, a number of downtown Sycamore stores will be decorated for the holidays and running special Black Friday-like sales. Many will also have live holiday displays in their windows to entice shoppers.

The holiday scenes are created by live dancers, musicians and performers with local arts organizations such as the Sycamore Performing Arts Academy, Sycamore High School orchestra and drama club and Northern Illinois Dance Center.

At press time, the following businesses were scheduled to host live holiday displays: Sweet Earth Jewelry and Gifts, Stomp Shoes, The Confectionary,  Shop in Style, Riccardi’s Red Hots, Paulsen’s Appliance, Sycamore Antiques, Jane Fargo Hotel, Christian Connection, Allstate Insurance, D&D Jewelry, Bullfrogs & Butterflies, Made Just For You Gifts and NB&T. Mudslingers will sell coffee and hot chocolate from a booth downtown.

“We are really excited more people are involved,” said Katelyn Fogle, events and marketing assistant for the Sycamore chamber. “It’s a fun event that’s a little different than a static display in your window. There’s a good mix of performers and music. It’s their way of adding an event and ambience to the holidays.”

New this year, she said, are the Sycamore High School groups. “We’re getting more participation from the high school,” she said.

The same weekend, NB&T and the DeKalb chamber kick off Hollydays, Nov. 22-24. Six stores will host open houses on Friday, Nov. 22. What the stores do at their open house is up to them, chamber events manager Jessica Struthers said.

“Some will decorate and some will offer cookies,” she said.

Carters Cottage, The Confectionary, Poppy Seed Primitives, My Favorite Things, Sozo Market and Helen’s Hair Design’swill hold open houses on Friday, Nov. 22. Moxie, Kid Stuff and Cracker Jax have scheduled open houses for Saturday, Nov. 23.

Struthers said Santa Claus will make his initial visit to the Barb City on Thursday, Dec. 5. People will gather at the Egyptian Theatre at 6 p.m. for hot chocolate, cookies and an hour-long performance by the DeKalb High School Madrigals before Santa arrives at 7 p.m. and entertains children in his house in the Van Buer Plaza.

Santa will also take children’s orders at his house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays, Dec. 7, 14 and 21. At the same times, carriage rides will be offered through the downtown area, departing from the library.

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