Decorations are being set up along North School Street this morning as the Lodi Downtown Merchants Association gets ready for today’s Christmas Open House.
Also known as Small Business Saturday, the event will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today, with some stores open until 8 p.m. Christmas Open House will continue tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
About 2,000 people are expected to attend festivities over the weekend. Many School Street merchants will have special holiday sales and discounts, and will provide a variety of treats and beverages to shoppers.
Cheese Central owner Cindy
Della Monica said the shop will offer a variety of goodies and door prizes, such as a glass cheese board.
A five-piece brass band will be playing holiday tunes right outside Cheese Central’s front door at 11 N. School St., and San Joaquin County Dairy Princess Alex Castelanelli will be on-hand to cut and serve cheese to customers.
Judy Peterson, owner of Pret at 15 Downtown Mall, said she will offer a variety of holiday food as well as drawing giveaways for gift cards. In addition, Pret will host a piano concert from 1 to 3 p.m.
Just a few doors down at Randall’s, 30 Downtown Mall, owner Randall Heinitz will serve up beer bratwurst and offer discounts of 20 to 50 percent. Live accordion music will be playing while customers shop.
Along with great sales and discounts, carolers from a number of local churches will traverse School Street and regale passersby with some favorite holiday hymns.
A 30-foot tree will be erected in the Post Office Plaza this morning, and visitors will be able to meet Santa Claus from noon to 2 p.m. today and every Saturday until Christmas. Several Lodi service clubs will gather at 8 a.m. this morning to decorate the tree.
And Local Boy Scout Troop 291 will install holiday swags along School Street this morning. The swags can be purchased for $20 each by contacting troop leader Chris Lee at 209-366-1701.
The festivities are not limited to this weekend — special events are lined up throughout December.
The annual Lodi Parade of Lights begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, with a new holiday boutique located on Elm Street from 1 to 6 p.m. that day. A variety of vendors will offer food, and nonprofit organizations will be serving up hot beverages.
Downtown merchants on Pine, School and South Sacramento streets will celebrate with special discounts and ribbon-cuttings during the Pine Street Block Party on Friday. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be on-hand, along with other holiday surprises.
And on Dec. 7, the Downtown Holiday Wine Walk will come to School Street, with several tasting rooms including Lodi’s Wine Social at 7 N. School St., the Weibel Family Tasting Room at 13 N. School St. and cellardoor at 21 N. School St., sharing holiday cheer. Admission for the walk is $15 per person at any Downtown winery.
For more information about Downtown Lodi holiday events, call 209-367-7840 or visit www.lodichamber.com.