The effort also serves to remind shoppers of the importance of a vibrant downtown shopping district and supports a local charity. Erin Calvo-Bacci, owner of The Chocolate Truffle, and a Shop the Block participant for 6 years, said, “How and where you choose to spend your money will have a real effect on your town.”
This year, a record 22 local businesses will offer extended hours and special promotions for Shop the Block. The event will include food from local restaurants and shops and entertainment provided by Creative Arts. Cupcake City will have their cupcake van in downtown. Grumpy Doyle’s restaurant will offer half-off appetizers to anyone who presents a receipt from a participating store. Local stores will offer an in kind discount to anyone who presents a Grumpy Doyle’s receipt from the day.
Shuttle service will be provided from the depot to the center of town via the Sanborn Place Home Care & Day Services van so that shoppers can visit all the stores around the block in comfort and convenience.
The Shop the Block raffle will benefit the Reading-North Reading Chamber of Commerce Holiday Light Fund, bringing tree lighting, garlands and holiday lighting to downtown Reading through funds from its members and sponsorships. The town is replacing its holiday lights with energy-efficient LED strings. Leslie Leahy, owner of The Hitching Post and one of the original Shop the Block founders said, “The Reading North Reading Chamber of Commerce proudly sponsors the holiday light festivals in both Reading & North Reading. The holiday festivals & light displays enjoyed by all are financed solely by the Chamber. To support this wonderful holiday tradition, Shop the Block will offer a Buy Local basket overflowing with items from participating businesses, with all proceeds benefiting the Chamber’s holiday light fund. The Shop the Block basket raffle exemplifies the Reading North Reading Chamber’s Buy Local campaign, Keep Your Town Alive to Thrive.”
Raffle tickets for the lavish gift basket can be purchased at the participating shops. A partial list of the gift basket contents includes gift certificates from the Salon on Haven Street, Aine's, Longwood Place, Cupcake City, Embellish Hair Salon, Dirty Doodle dog boutique and selfwash, Glow, Sense of Wonder, Kings Complete Auto Center, Brissonte in North Reading, Elite Freestyle Karate, and Everything But the Dog. The basket also contains bracelets from Sims Jewelers and Good Hearts children’s store, earrings from Aine’s Boutique, a print and necklace from the EMARC Center for Emerging Artists, a wine set from the Hitching Post, and hand-dipped chocolates from The Chocolate Truffle.
Shop the Block will take place Thursday, Nov. 29 from 5 to 9 p.m. in downtown Reading. Participating businesses will be designated with red bows. For updates, please check the events Facebook page, Shop the Block Reading Mass.