Downtown Grand Junction is wrapping up another big night. After "Small Business Saturday" and the Parade of Lights, local businesses geared up for yet another spirited celebration.
He was there from the beginning.
"That first winter, the person in the space next to us, rich helm was his name, came up with this idea," Main Street Bagels owner Mark Smith said.
But the following year it became his project.
"I kept doing it, and it kept growing every year for about five or six years," Smith said.
This is the first time in eight years Smith took the Spirit of Christmas planning responsibilities back.
He's already busy with his bagel shop, but he put in the work to get this day planned.
"He started in August or so getting groups to come and contacting singers and entertainers, and everybody likes to come," Haggle of Vendors Emporium owner Ron Maupin said.
The day is a chance for the downtown merchants to thank the community for its support and it gives the local businesses a boost, too.
"It’s just a wonderful thing to have. You want to support the locals so we can stay here," Crystal Books and Gifts owner Cheryl Lucas said.
"It’s always been part of the goal of downtown to have downtown be the center of the community," added Maupin.
Many stores stayed open until 9 p.m. and entertainers from all walks came out to support the Spirit of Christmas Walk.
"People are happy and there's lots of music and a lot going on, and the stores are really neat," shopper Cindy Kopfman said.
"It’s very lively. A lot of people, shops are open, [and there are] carriage rides, hot chocolate," added shopper Kelli Lange.
While it was a great time for consumers, some could argue it was even more fun for the local businesses.
Smith said he was pleased with the turnout and expects even bigger crowds and more entertainment next Christmas.
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