Whether you have been naughty or nice ..

Downtown Lincoln Association column
By: Pam Lopez, Special to The News Messenger
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The Downtown Lincoln Merchants invite you to attend the second annual Light of Lincoln Open House on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 4 to 8 p.m.! Come downtown and bring your friends and family. Participating downtown merchants will be decorated for Christmas and will be offering something free to each guest visiting their stores.

Some of the wonderful items awaiting you include homemade Christmas donuts (Sew Katie Jean); free soap and lotion samples (The Green Goat); snow, cookies and face painting for the kids (Mr. Pickle’s);

old-fashioned popped corn (The Carrousel Cottage); Christmas music (Whistle Stop Café); cookies and hot cider (Lincoln Florist and Gifts) and much more at your favorite downtown businesses.

There will also be craft/artisan/vendor booths in Heritage Theater for additional open house fun. Each of these vendors will also offer something free for everyone to enjoy as well. For example, the Art League of Lincoln will hand out historic downtown Lincoln postcards so don’t miss out.

Please find an interactive map of participating merchants on our Facebook Page:  Downtown Lincoln. You can also find additional information regarding downtown businesses and events on our Downtown Lincoln website at

 Dec. 1 is also the date for “Miracle on Fifth Street,” the annual Christmas parade and tree lighting hosted by the Lincoln Area Chamber of Commerce. The parade will begin at 4:30 p.m. (Fifth and F streets) and the tree lighting will follow the parade in Beermann Plaza.

If you have never been to Beermann Plaza for the tree lighting, I urge you to attend. There is something so uniquely heartwarming about standing with your Lincoln neighbors, live Christmas music echoing through the plaza and watching that huge tree light up.

 After the tree lighting, while wandering around downtown, cider in hand, Christmas music reverberating in your head, don’t forget to notice the details and themes each merchants has chosen for their store. The merchants are competing in a friendly decorating contest and are all aspiring to beat the reigning champ from last year, Lincoln Florist and Gifts. What are your favorites? Share your opinion at the Downtown Lincoln Facebook Page.

This holiday season promises to be a great time to Discover the Charm of Downtown Lincoln. If you have not been downtown recently you may be surprised at the renewed excitement and enthusiasm that has sprung up within the downtown merchants this last year.

We are proud to have many new merchants join our ranks, such as Gypsy-Chic Vintage Market, Beermann’s, Better With Age, Lincoln Boulevard Home Consignments, El Portal, Lincoln Express Dog Wash, Vonrad’s Trading Post, The Office, Farmstead, Sew Katie Jean, Beauty Vault, Baxter’s Event Center, Walmart, Cigarettes Smoke Shop, Old Town Pizza By the Slice, and Gold Link Real Estate.

The Lights of Lincoln Open House will be a great opportunity to stop in and visit our new merchants as well as reconnect with some of your favorite downtown Lincoln businesses.

Don’t forget, the Lights of Lincoln Open House will be a fantastic time to shop for unique holiday gifts. Where else but downtown Lincoln can you find a bar of almond cherry goat’s milk soap (The Green Goat), Awful Annie’s Bloody Mary Mix (Awful Annie’s), cowboy boots (Anna’s Sweet Repeats and Boutique), a leather bracelet (Better With Age), and a gorgeous, decorative light-up wine bottle (Lincoln Boulevard Home Consignments)? Yep, nowhere.

While enjoying the festivities, don’t pass up your chance to dine at one of our great downtown restaurants. Whether you are in the mood for down-home cooking (Kim’s Country Kitchen), homemade authentic Italian pasta (Buonarroti Ristorante) or a grilled ribeye (Beermann’s), you will find it downtown.

So, naughty or nice, save the date. The downtown Lincoln merchants can’t wait to see you on Dec. 1.

Pam Lopez is the owner of Mr. Pickles in downtown Lincoln. She is also the Downtown Lincoln Association vice president.