As we approach the welcome holiday season, the Uptown Waterloo BIA is hoping residents will feel in the giving spirit as they invite the community to support small business during its "Winter Wonderland" shopping event.
Previously known as the Holiday Hop 'N' Shop, the event will be running in Uptown Waterloo from December 3-5, with over 25 businesses participating in the initiative and offering special sales, handouts and events in the business core.
The Uptown Waterloo BIA has created an "easy-to-follow" map for shoppers and revelers, while also teasing "fun, pop-up street performances" to be caught throughout the weekend.
The weekend affair kicks off on Friday, December 3 with a tree lighting ceremony in Waterloo Public Square, hosted by Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky alongside Ward 7 Councillor Tenille Bonogoure - with a special appearance by Santa Claus as well. The ceremony will begin at 7 p.m., while those unable to attend the jolly event in person are invited to tune in to the Uptown BIA's Facebook page to watch the event virtually.
Continuing the Winter Art Walk tradition this year, Uptown will also feature window paintings in several businesses from local artists hired by the BIA, as the association's Executive Director Tracy Van Kalsbeek said the pieces will depict "beautiful, wintery scenes," inviting visitors to take a self guided tour while following along with the Uptown Art Walks map.
Van Kalsbeek adds that there's a whole lot of festive holiday cheer to take in across Uptown, with the core already thoroughly decorated with "wreaths, lights and bows" as well as themed winter planters.
In addition to the decorations, Waterloo Park will be host to the "Wonders of Winter" festival of lights beginning this Saturday evening, while the BIA will also be installing its public square ice rink as soon as weather permits. The Uptown Mistletoe Lane will also be returning for a fourth year between McCabe's Waterloo and the Uptown Parkade.
"For years before the pandemic, our main street, independent businesses supported our community," said Van Kalsbeek. "It's our turn to support them and help them recover from the last 20 months of uncertainty."