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Give the gift of supporting our local businesses

If there was ever a year where the simple act of lighting a Christmas tree was so desperately needed, it is 2020.

Next Friday, as part of the festivities surrounding the opening of Christmas in the Park, the 16-foot Christmas tree, currently sitting decorated in the middle of Washington Street Park, will be turned on and with it ring in a season many have looked forward to.

It is a season that not only children and the general public have looked forward to, but local retailers as well. 

Next Friday, affectionately known as Black Friday because of the economic impact the day after Thanksgiving usually means to the bottom line of many retailers, should be the start of something special in Vicksburg and for that, we are thankful to the city leaders and officials with Vicksburg’s Main Street program for bringing back Christmas in the Park.

While the event will be a smaller version than the festive atmosphere brought about during the inaugural event, the decorations and evening light show is a beacon that will hopefully draw crowds to downtown Vicksburg and its retailers.

In an online poll by The Vicksburg Post, nearly 70 percent of readers said they plan to do much of their Christmas shopping this year through online vendors, while the remainder said they would do much of their shopping with local businesses. 

That is a shame and a number that should be flipped.

While online retailers have been a saving grace for many during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic for those worried about going in among the crowds, our local retailers need our support. 

This year, which has been dominated so much by the pandemic, has left many smaller retailers hurting.

While they do not have the online shopping options of the larger retailers, they do offer the personalized shopping experience that so many long for and that continues to provide the utmost in customer service.

And, during this year, many have adapted their business operations to help those who are concerned about shopping in-person. 

Next Friday marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and it is important that while we remember our loved ones and those on our shopping list, we also remember those who have continued to support our community, employ our friends and family, and provide the business backbone to our community.

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