DES MOINES, Iowa — Last-minute holiday shoppers had a uniquely local option to load up their gift baskets Friday night. The East Village’s stores stayed open later than usual for its annual Holiday Promenade celebration.
The promenade events encompassed the past five Fridays. Stores stayed open until 9 p.m. instead of their usual closing times of 5 p.m. or 6 p.m., and the city of Des Moines featured seasonal activities such as a visit from Santa Claus and Christmas carolers.
“When shoppers have a good time, we know they’ll come back,” said Amelia Klatt of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. “The main goal is to get them down here once so they can come back again.”
The event also allowed shoppers to discover businesses they may have overlooked otherwise.
“There’s a lot of people who have never really been in here,” said Marv’s Record Shop manager Emily Mendez. “I’m able to say, ‘Hey, welcome in,’ and say we have a very good selection of music. It’s great because some people don’t know if they’re looking for a specific thing, then they see our shelves and go, ‘Oh, my goodness.'”
The final Holiday Promenade also featured fireworks over the Des Moines River.