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Shoppers ignore weather, head downtown for last-minute gifts

Anastasia and Harrison Warren stood by the fudge case at The Cinnamon Tree Saturday afternoon waiting for a package to be gift-wrapped.
The newlywed couple was expecting a Christmas visit from family and in the process of wrapping up their yuletide shopping.

“We got married in October, so we kind of put off some of our Christmas shopping to now,” Anastasia said. “This is a great place to shop to get locally made presents from Mississippi to give to out-of-town guests.”

Like the Warrens, many other people ignored the wet weather Saturday as they hit the local stores with the calendar getting ever closer to Christmas, and merchants reported brisk business as area residents headed downtown to get those last-minute additions to finish off their Christmas lists.

“We’re pretty busy; business is good; we can’t complain. People are shopping local,” said Tammy Folger-Sutter, a sales associate at Cinnamon Tree.
“It’s been really busy, thanks to people shopping local,” said Sassafras owner Nancy Bullard. “We’re very pleased; business has been good since Thanksgiving and going well. We’ve had some challenges with the pandemic; we didn’t know what Christmas would be like. But the people have been coming in and supporting their town.”

Also, she said, people seemed to realize the advantages of shopping in small stores. “There are no crowds and there’s not a long wait.”

Peterson’s owner Bobbie Marascalco said her staff “has been busy all week; all day, every day and we’re glad. We’re very appreciative of their business and we’ve been meeting some nice people. Everyone is wearing their masks and everyone is patient.”

She said the store’s top-selling items are toys, food and pajamas.

“Everything we have in the store makes people happy — toys, food and pajamas,” Marascalco said.

At The Dragonfly, owner Shanon Shealy said the hot item was the chocolate bomb, a ball of chocolate that is dropped into hot water or milk and “explodes” releasing chocolate and marshmallows for hot chocolate.

“Everything is going well, this month,” Shealy said. “We’ve had a lot of local shoppers. The pandemic has slowed down and we’re seeing more local shoppers out wearing their masks and taking care of business.

At Paper Plus, owner Mary Ellen Welch said LED beanies were a big seller, adding,” I just sold out.”

Saturday, she said, “I had a good day today; a lot of people trying to finish their last-minute shopping.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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