The Water Street Holiday Block Party started on Thursday and runs through Saturday this weekend. It's an effort by local businesses on Water Street to get people to shop local as the holiday season really starts to heat up.
If the great deals don't get you in the door, many stores will be offering food and refreshments. The more stores you visit the better chance you can win big.
"You need to sign up for a punch card. You get a punch card at one of the participating businesses, and visit 10 businesses and that gets you eligible to win over 1,000 dollars in gift prizes." Mickey Judkins owns the shop “Details,” and says she's seen the local economy strengthen through the year and is optimistic this will be a kick off to a great holiday season.
"We feel very strongly that when the community shops at small, locally owned businesses that that money stays in the community. Statistics tell us that it turns over 9 times in the community and in that way it strengthens the city," says Judkins.
And when it comes to shopping for the holidays...buying local has other advantages.
"I think the product is more unique and so when you're shopping for gifts you get a much more interesting product, and one that is not everywhere. So it becomes much more special, and that doesn't necessarily mean more expensive."
She also says by shopping early you also get the best inventory.
"It’s just grown and grown over the years and you'll see as the event gets started that the street becomes very busy." And with such nice weather expected through the weekend it should be pretty busy not only here on Water Street but also throughout downtown Eau Claire.
All the local businesses on Water Street, Barstow Street, Grand Ave, and the Phoenix Park Neighborhood will be participating in the Holiday Season Opener offering deals and incentives to coincide with the gun deer opener this weekend. That begins Friday and runs until Saturday.