Downtown Lincoln to be lit up Dec. 3

By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
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Downtown businesses will have a special treat for those who visit their shops the afternoon and night of Dec. 3. The downtown Lincoln marketing/branding task force has organized Lights of Lincoln, a decorating contest and open-house event that will follow the annual Christmas parade and tree lighting. The event was the idea of The Lincoln News Messenger’s senior advertising consultant Brenda Thomas, who was inspired by a similar holiday event she attended in Peoria, Ill. about eight years ago. “It was really cold and everyone put on their scarves and hats and went into every business,” Thomas said. “It was just warm and kicked off the season and put a sparkle in it.” In the five years she has attended Lincoln’s parade and tree lighting, Thomas said, “I have always wanted to add one thing.” That “one thing” is the inaugural Lights of Lincoln, where at least 25 downtown businesses will be open from 4 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 3. “They are inviting everyone to come in and we all will have something for you,” Thomas said. “It could be cookies, calendars, snow, face painting, DVD’s, Santa pictures or music.” Thomas is hopeful the parade will be positive for downtown Lincoln. “(Lights of Lincoln) is to bring business downtown and to make this a destination that people want to come to because it’s so charming,” Thomas said. Pam Lopez, one of the downtown Lincoln marketing/branding task force’s leaders and co-owner of Mr. Pickles (307 G St.), said the event “is definitely a way to give back to the public and customers that support us.” “There are so many things going on downtown with new businesses popping up and I think it will acquaint residents with downtown Lincoln to find out how charming it is,” Lopez said. Mr. Pickles will have a chilly treat for residents, according to Lopez. “We are going to bring in a bunch of snow for the kids to play in and we are also going to do face painting before the parade and have hors d’oeuvres.” Mr. Pickles will be decorated in a Winter Wonderland theme, Lopez said. Goats’ milk soaps will be handed out by The Green Goat (660 5th St.) owner Leslie Campbell that night. “It’s a great way for people to come in and see the shop, and other shops, and create a tradition,” Campbell said. “It’s a good way to give back to people and they can shop for Christmas.” Campbell said she hopes “people will remember” her products and return to the store “in the future.” Abbi’s K-9 Grooming owner Jenissa Gordon (690 G St.) said the first 10 visitors will receive $5 nail clippings for their dogs. She will also give key chains and dog bones. “Mainly, it’s because we want to participate in Lincoln,” said Gordon when asked why her business is participating in Lights of Lincoln. “We are in downtown and want to be a part of Lincoln. It will be a good way to get people to downtown Lincoln who don’t normally come down.”