GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)- West Michigan, we have entered a festive time of year! Even though Thanksgiving is next week, and Christmas will soon follow, another highly anticipated festivity many of us have enjoyed partaking in for more than twenty years is returning. Uptown GR Inc. Is pleased to announce the commencement of Uptown Shop Hop Season in four business districts: Eastown, East Fulton, Wealthy Street, and East Hills. This year, the community is in for a wonderful treat. According to Uptown GR Inc. organizers, participants can enjoy “a month-long celebration of all things local and festive in its district this year (from Nov. 16 through Dec. 24), along with one special day of extra fun for all, on Thursday, Dec. 2.”

What is Uptown Shop Hop?

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Uptown Shop Hop is a “traditional event that has served as an invitation to visit the district for one special evening per year, during which patrons can holiday shop, eat, visit, and enjoy entertainment in Uptown, all while supporting the small and independently owned businesses there. It has grown exponentially over the years to become a tradition to annually repeat for many of its patrons, and a new one to begin for many more.”

Per Ingrid Miller, Uptown GR Inc. Executive Director says, “It is our organization’s honor to spearhead this event and create an invitation for the community and visitors to enjoy our festive district and support our unique local businesses. Shop Hop is an unparalleled regional shopping experience, but moreover, it is an event created and supported by a community that is the backbone of our neighborhood business districts.

Of necessity is often born invention, and as of last year and with public health and safety in mind, a new tradition was added to the affair. At that time during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was deemed prudent to encourage patrons to support those small businesses who needed it more than ever but to consider doing so all season long instead of focusing one evening. This was to allow for a less bustling, yet still merry, shopping experience for all. The approach was a wild success and has now become a new tradition to the Uptown Shop Hop brand and will be so going forward.”

How many businesses participate in Shop Hop?

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Uptown supports about 400 businesses including independently owned shops, popular service businesses and restaurants. In addition to shopping and supporting local, event-goers can enjoy a plethora of other activities. Beginning at 3 pm on Thursday, Dec. 2, Uptown GR Inc. will host a showcase featuring performances from the Grand Rapids Girls Choral, Grand Rapids Opera, Deos Ballet, and a variety of other local artists and talent.

For more information about the 2021 Uptown Shop Hop, contact Ingrid Miller or plan your visit through their website.

(Information provided by Uptown Grand Rapids/Ingrid Miller).