“There are over 1,000 people interested on Facebook, there is a lot of excitement about it,” he said.
From Thanksgiving Day to New Year's Day, community members will be able to park downtown for free on the weekends.
Christi Pickren, owner of Burning Sphinx Studio which sells fantasy and fairy merchandise, said she wanted to find events to display her crafts in her local community.
“For small businesses, it’s the only way we really get enough visibility,” she said. “I’m sure most of us have something online but really my repeat customers are the people that see me face to face and it’s really important.”
Kara Thornton is the owner of Calvander Company, which sells pottery and woodworks, and said the Downtown Partnership emailed the artists that participated in the Carrboro Bazaar asking if they would be interested to participated in Chapel Hill.
“I think it brings in a lot of community and I don’t really remember seeing a lot of stuff like this in this plaza so it brings more people it and then you get to hear about local artists and hear their stories,” she said.
She said the turnout for the Chapel Hill event has been better than the one in Carrboro.
Chapel Hill will also continue their window display contest where downtown businesses compete for the best holiday window display. The winner will receive advertising money to spend on their business.
“It’s a really great in terms of holiday cheer, people really getting excited about their community and what’s offered in their community over the holiday season,” Rike said.
The Morehead Planetarium will have night lights and family activities for community members to celebrate New Year’s Eve. The Holiday Market at the Carolina Inn will return Dec. 9 and Dec. 16 for vendors from all over the state to sell their crafts.
“By providing these events, we not only provide something fun for our community to participate in, but we also provide value to our businesses by drawing more people to downtown to shop and dine and to kind of enjoy a nice festive community atmosphere before the holidays,” Rike said.