The Holiday Shop Hop experience

By KELSEY KENNEDY

neighborhoods@ColumbiaMissourian.com

From wine and cheese to sparkling cider, a range of creative displays of food and merchandise were shown at the Holiday Shop Hop on Friday, Nov. 5.

The event, from 5 to 8 p.m. in The District, offered extended hours for a night on the town of early holiday shopping.

“I’m hoping to bag a few gifts for Christmas,” said Sue Spencer while browsing in the Makes Scents store.

Many shoppers traveled in groups, making the night a bonding experience. Toni Heifner, from Kirkwood, Mo., said she was in town celebrating her mother’s birthday.

“It’s really cute and it’s a really good concept,” Heifner said about the Holiday Shop Hop, adding that she and her group of family members were “shopping for everyone.

Shopper Kathy Perry commented on the variety of items offered downtown, “They all offer something different.”

Creativity wasn’t limited to inside the stores, however. The Mustard Seed lined the ground on their block of Ninth Street with hand-made paper bag luminaries employees prepared before the event.

Creating an experience through decorations is a big part of the event for some store owners.

“We’ve made the store into Christmas,” said Sandy Litecky, one of the owners of Bluestem Missouri Crafts.

Ruth Walker, another owner, explained that they spent 12-14 hours preparing the store for the Holiday Shop Hop.

From those who were hoping to get some holiday shopping done early, to those who were “just checking it out,” like Jennifer Butterwick, customers popped into stores from the cold night air to browse the multitude of shops that participated in the event.

“The treats are a plus, too,” said Heifner with a laugh.

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