Each holiday season is busier than the last, and this year is no exception. We are partnering with several community organizations and businesses to celebrate the holidays–and our office has a bit of Santa’s workshop feel these days.
Over the weekend, we mounted our holiday banners and lighting. For us, these snowflake bedecked banners are the first sign of winter and the ensuing holiday season. We love to see the decorations go up because we know the season will bring traffic into our businesses, and new visitors to this street!
When it comes to bringing traffic to the street, there’s no better program than Small Business Saturday, November 29. Each year, we try to highlight our small independent businesses that participate in the holiday shopping program sponsored by American Express. This year, our office is distributing canvas shopping bags, doormats, balloons, pins, posters, and of course, pet bandanas, all provided courtesy of American Express. We will also be advertising participating businesses through social media.
This year, as in years past, we are working with elementary schools to decorate Central Avenue’s Shopping District for the holidays. Students from Blessed Sacrament, Brighter Choice Charter School for Girls and Brighter Choice Charter School for Boys, and Albany City School District’s Montessori Magnet School will decorate 800 paper mache stars for our Star Student Holiday Program. These colorful stars will be mounted on green garland that hangs from the fences in front of ShopRite Plaza, Westgate Plaza, Hannaford Plaza, Mavis Tire and Monro Muffler, alongside banners with holiday messages from the sponsors. It’s a wonderful way to showcase the students’ creativity, and each year we are impressed by the work they produce.
We also constructed a gingerbread house for the Homeless and Travelers Aid Society’s ninth annual Home Sweet Gingerbread Home Contest taking place at Crossgates Mall in Albany. On Saturday November 9, the gingerbread houses, created by some crafty businesses and not-for-profits in the area, were displayed at the mall near Burlington Coat Factory. While onlookers checked out the sugarcoated creations, there were performances by The Voorheesville School Bell Choir, The Golden Notes A’capella Group, and Sydney Worthley, a young local artist. The winner of the contest will be announced on November 20, 2014 at HATAS’s winter gala, Evening in Winter Wonderland at Taste in downtown Albany from 6pm-8pm. They will auction off the gingerbread designs, reveal the winner, and distribute their prizes. Tickets for the event can be purchased for $75.
This is the third year the Central Avenue BID participated in this artistic event, making us 1 of 19 other businesses, which is the largest amount the event has ever hosted.
Stay tuned for more holiday preparations from the Central Avenue Business Improvement District. These elves stay busy!