The Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce, Jacksonville Main Street, and Jacksonville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau teamed up this year to host the annual Santa Stroll: 12 Days of Loving Local. The Santa Stroll was created three years ago after Julie Rowe of Home Girls Boutique brought the idea to Jacksonville Main Street. The Stroll began on Monday and will run through November 28th.
Brittany Henry of the Jacksonville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau says that with the trials and tribulations of the past year, the three entities thought they could help local businesses better by working together: “This year is a little bit different and you know 2020 is an odd year for everyone, so we thought it was very important for our entities being the Jacksonville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce, and Main Street to come together in support of our local businesses and really help out the community during these challenging times. We thought we could reach more businesses if we all worked together that would cover the Jacksonville area.”
To help reach more people during COVID times, the Santa Stroll Facebook page is having local businesses go live on their page: “We’ve added a new component to the event this year. There is an online component so we’ve almost finished a full week of it. Tonight, a collaborative will be going live on their Facebook page at 7:00, but each evening we’ve had one to two businesses that have been going live and showcasing what you can purchase from them through the holidays, what their business hours are. Some of them are even telling you if you’re not able to get out how you can purchase items from them.”
The Santa Stroll is usually advertised by having consumers buying $10 Santa hats filled with local coupons that can be used during the event and some that extend after. The Santa Hats sold out on Tuesday, which Henry says is a great sign for local businesses. For more information, check out the Santa Stroll Facebook Page.
Ali Pyle contributed to this report.