Doors will be open and treats aplenty, as some downtown businesses keep their doors open a bit longer on Friday, Dec. 12 to participate in a special holiday Jingle All the Way event. Over half a dozen boutiques and shops in the North Third vicinity will extend their business hours to 8 p.m. Friday, welcoming the community to do some night time shopping.
“We had not heard anything from the Tourism Bureau,” coordinator Russell Olivera Jr. said of the previous Oakdale’s Old Fashioned Christmas, indicating that business owners had inquired but received no response.
Olivera is also the owner of Oakdale in Wonderland, which opened under its own store front earlier this year at its 226 East F St. location.
“A lot of people were sad that it would not continue,” he said of the old-fashioned holiday event. “So I thought if the bureau doesn’t want to continue, maybe we should just take it over. A few businesses were on board immediately, so this was put together very quickly.”
In keeping with the holiday spirit, Olivera indicated each business will host an event. Some will offer gifts, refreshments or music. They youngest of the shoppers, however, will not want to miss a visit to the loft area of Oakdale’s Winter Wonderland known as the Mad Hatters Loft for there they will find Santa Claus.
“Santa will be here from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.,” the business owner said. “Parents can bring their cameras if they’d like. Photos will also be available to purchase.”
Marking his one year anniversary of business in November, Olivera first began his Wonderland business as a vendor renting space in a few of the North Third locations. He opened his shop offering vendor space to others on F Street seven months ago.
“We get a lot of weekend foot traffic,” he said. “A lot of tourists see the shop and share they didn’t know our businesses are down here.
“I want all the businesses down here to thrive,” he added. “I try to help promote all the stores downtown when people come in.”
The ‘newer’ kid on the block shared that he’s always had a creative eye and an interest in the antique type store as a future business opportunity.
“I don’t consider anything old,” he said. “It’s fun to reimagine it and find another way you can use it. That’s really what’s great about our downtown shops … We’re all similar, but we’re all different at the same time. There’s a good mix of assortment and pricing.”
Olivera concluded sharing his excitement for Friday night’s event and the opportunity for the community to gather and do some shopping at the same time.
“I’ve lived in a lot of places,” he offered, “but this is the first place I’ve lived that felt like home.”
Oakdale in Wonderland is located at 226 East F St., Oakdale. Olivera can be contacted at (209) 409-2103 or visit www.OakdaleInWonderland.com.