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Explore Fairfield's Small Businesses With Holiday Shop & Stroll

Fairfield University students provided live music during the 2013 Holiday Shop & Stroll.
Fairfield University students provided live music during the 2013 Holiday Shop & Stroll. Photo Credit: Fairfield University Bookstore Facebook
From left are Chamber of Commerce President Beverly Balaz, First Selectman Michael Tetreau and Economic Development Director Mark Barnhart.
From left are Chamber of Commerce President Beverly Balaz, First Selectman Michael Tetreau and Economic Development Director Mark Barnhart. Photo Credit: Town of Fairfield
Chris Halstead, husband of The Beehive owner Sandra Tobey Halstead, plays bartender during the 2014 Holiday Shop & Stroll.
Chris Halstead, husband of The Beehive owner Sandra Tobey Halstead, plays bartender during the 2014 Holiday Shop & Stroll. Photo Credit: The Beehive Facebook
Students from Warde and Ludlowe high schools contributed both music and a cappella singing to the 2015 Holiday Shop & Stroll.
Students from Warde and Ludlowe high schools contributed both music and a cappella singing to the 2015 Holiday Shop & Stroll. Photo Credit: Fairfield Chamber of Commerce Facebook
Students from Warde and Ludlowe high schools provided music at the 2015 Holiday Shop & Stroll.
Students from Warde and Ludlowe high schools provided music at the 2015 Holiday Shop & Stroll. Photo Credit: Fairfield Chamber of Commerce Facebook

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Locals are again invited to meander through Fairfield, take in holiday sights and sounds, and enjoy holiday specials during the fourth annual Fairfield Holiday Shop & Stroll throughout the day on Thursday, Dec. 8.

"It's just a great, festive night," said Kristin Nick, who works at The Beehive on Post Road.

Participating shops will stay open late and offer an assortment of hors d’oeuvres and seasonal treats, traveling carolers and musicians from local schools will fill the air with holiday cheer, and local restaurants will offer dinner or drink specials.

"This is a great opportunity to support our local businesses and get your holiday shopping done while enjoying a fun night out with family or friends," First Selectman Mike Tetreau said.

The Beehive will be in on the festivities this year, as it has been for the three prior years.

"We usually do some fun things -- like cocktails," Nick added. "It's a great event. We see our return customers, but we do always get new ones."

The Beehive is a gift and decor store. "We have gifts for everyone, from kids and babies, men and women, and great hostess gifts," Nick said. The store's decor section includes items like custom furniture, as well as wallpaper and lighting.

"We run the gamut."

The town of Fairfield and the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce are co-sponsoring the event.

Mark Barnhart, Fairfield economic development director, said that several dozen retail establishments participate, as well as a half-dozen or so restaurants that offer drink or dining specials. Most of the businesses are concentrated downtown.

Barnhart said that interest has increased each year -- but attendance really correlates with the weather.

"The Chamber of Commerce is happy to be partnering with the town on this festive event, as it will give our businesses another opportunity to open their doors to the community, meet new customers from surrounding towns and, together, help celebrate the holiday season with a wonderful shopping experience," said Chamber President Beverly Balaz.

Another opportunity to support small business comes even sooner, with Small Business Saturday, immediately after the Thanksgiving holiday. Tetreau noted that residents and nonresidents should take advantage of special shopping opportunities that day.

Small Business Saturday started in 2010 as a way to celebrate and support small businesses. Last year, more than 95 million people participated nationwide.

"Small Business Saturday is a terrific opportunity to kick off the holiday season by remembering the small businesses that help make Fairfield special," Tetreau added, "and we encourage all to 'Shop Small' throughout the year, but especially during this festive time of year."

American Express has sponsored Small Business Saturday since its inception, and card members can enroll in a program to earn double rewards on purchases at qualifying small businesses through the end of the year. Get the details here.

Retailers and organizations that wish to participate in the Holiday Shop & Stroll should contact Balaz at 203-255-1011 or Barnhart at 203-256-3120 by Monday, Nov. 28, so promotion materials can be finalized.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m, with an ice sculpture demonstration at 6 p.m.

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