ASHLAND -- I don’t know about your family, but over here, between the driving and the lead up and the family and the eating, the Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of Thanksgiving week are a whirlwind of frantic activity. Then, Friday rolls around, we all look at each other over our leftovers, and say, “now what?” 

If you have a similar week coming up, don’t worry; as always, Ashland Main Street is here and ready to swoop in and make it better.

Our annual Miracle on Main Street Shop Hop is back, and is here to help you finish out this weekend with joy and fun and the Christmas season practically wrapped up, and maybe even some prizes to boot!  So friends, let’s talk about the grooviness that is the Shop Hop.

Many of you have told us that either you eschew the Black Friday Big Box Store Bonanza, or you knock it out by noon, and then you come down and shop us.  First of all, thank you, and second of all, good news -- we have shifted the Shop Hop around for a bit, so the first day of the Hop is Friday, November 29, Black Friday.

Sandra Tunnell

Sandra Tunnell

If you are an avid shopper of our Hop, that means you can start even earlier supporting small business and buying the best, local, unique gifts around.  If you are new to the shop hop game, or are looking for something to do with all that family sitting around your living room, come on down and bring that crew with you.

We know lots of you are hosting family who grew up in Ashland, but have since moved away (craziness, I know).  What a great opportunity to show off our downtown that frankly, is looking fabulous these days.  If you are a local who just doesn’t have time to get out during the week and is even busier on the weekends (ah, adulting), this is the perfect opportunity to walk around downtown and check out all those great stores we keep telling you about. 

Don’t feel like you need to rush, either, because the Hop runs over three days. It is Friday, November 29, Saturday, November 30, and Saturday, December 7.  So you can thumb your nose at the big box stores on Black Friday, embrace the shop local vibe of Small Business Saturday, and come back next week, finish up your shopping then stay downtown for the Christmas parade, tree lighting and fabulous downtown fireworks display. You know you’re going to be here for that anyway, so why not shop ahead of time?

Now that we have your interest piqued, here’s how it works. 

1.  Come downtown.  The Shop Hop runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. all three days, but those crazy kids at Uniontown Brewing Company will have breakfast (and mimosas) from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. both Saturdays, so plan your arrival time accordingly. 

2.  At 10 a.m., start off at Enjoy! and pick up your Small Business Saturday bag (while supplies last), your punch card, and shop away. Easy peasy.

We are incredibly fortunate that the following amazing stores are participating in our Shop Hop. Besides Enjoy!, we have Downtown Perk, Keller Williams Legacy Group (where all your gift wrapping needs can be fulfilled), Madame Bagnabit, Uniontown Brewing Company, Superior Merch, Rumours, South Street Antiques, Two Seasons Farm Alpacas (located in Howard Glick’s office at 23 West Main), Farm & Home Hardware, Ashley’s Candy & Nut Shopper, Kelley’s Vinyl Record Store, LK Home Décor, the Grooming Lounge, Ashland Bike Company, and Fig & Oak. 

Please note that for your shopping convenience, I listed everyone in order by location, so you can park, start out at Enjoy!, follow along and not miss a shop.  That would be a travesty.  

Each store will punch or sign your card.  When you’ve visited all the stops, drop off the card and you could be drawn to win a prize of gifts donated by the shops.  Getting rewarded for shopping? Does it get any better?

While you’re out shopping, please check out all the downtown store windows.  Our Third Annual Window Decorating Contest is back, and participating stores have embraced “The Twelve Days of Christmas” theme in a big way!  Even if you don’t do the Shop Hop you can still vote for your favorite window. Pop by Enjoy! for a Shop Hop card, and vote for your favorite window on the back of the card.  

The Shop Hop is meant to make your shopping experience as easy and enjoyable as possible.  If you don’t finish your card in one day, don’t worry. There are three days total to knock it out.  If you just want to browse but not shop until later, that’s totally fine. Check out our great stores, get your card punched and come back when it’s not so busy and shop your heart out. 

We have an incredible downtown with amazing stores. We want you to have as much opportunity as possible to visit them and experience how lucky we are to have these great businesses located right here.

So have a great turkey day, then prepare yourselves. You have a lot of shopping to do this weekend.  We can’t wait to see you downtown.

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