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Mistletoe Walk in Freeport encourages the community to shop local

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FREEPORT (WREX) — Thanksgiving is a week away, but you would think it's mid-December after taking a walk through downtown Freeport.

The city kicked off its annual Mistletoe Walk on Friday. The event normally takes place on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, but the city changed it to span the weekend to avoid crowds.

The yearly event not only brings Christmas cheer a little early, it kicks off the holiday shopping season for local businesses.

Those local businesses need a boost this holiday season according to Bill Clow who is the Business Engagement Director for the Greater Freeport Partnership.

"This period of time is huge for many small businesses in a normal year," Clow said. "Now, it's even more important because of the restrictions that have been put on forcing many businesses to close earlier this year."

While businesses like Hilldale say they've seen a boost this weekend, it's only a fourth of what they normally experience. This is why Clow hopes this event at the very least signals to people how much these businesses need support this year.

"If you can't make it down this weekend, or don't want to come this weekend, don't forget these stores are here and open all year," Clow said.

The last day of this year's Mistletoe Walk is Sunday, Nov. 22.

William Ingalls

William Ingalls is a photographer at WREX. He joined the team in 2019 after graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and English from Augustana College. William was born and raised in Rockford and went to high school at Christian Life.

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