Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1083182

Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 20, 2014

Christmas punch card promotion kicks off today

Over $1,700 in prizes to be awarded
By David Hotle | Nov 19, 2013
Carolers celebrate before the 2012 lighted parade in Central Park as part of the annual Showcasing Nights of Washington (SNOW) event. Many events are returning this year.

With over $1,700 in prizes being given away by area businesses this year as part of the fourth annual Holiday Punch Card Giveaway, The Washington Evening Journal and participating businesses are hoping to give at least 15 shoppers a happy holiday season.
For the fourth year, The Journal and Main Street Washington have partnered to bring the promotion to area stores. The event kicks off today and runs through Dec. 22. During a drawing on Dec. 23, one grand-prize winner will take home $650 in gift certificates. A second prize winner will take away $325 in gift certificates. Also,  at least one winner per business will be awarded a gift certificate or merchandise from the drawing business.
“In the past years this promotion has been very successful,” Washington Evening Journal advertising director Julie Scott said. “It encourages people to shop locally and gives shoppers the chance to win some nice prizes.”
She said people shopping locally could find competitive prices, enjoy personal service and avoid the Christmas shopping crowds.
Previous Washington Holiday Punch Card Giveaways encouraged shoppers to spend over $800,000 at area businesses. Both years thousands of cards were turned in at the time of the drawing.
For every dollar spent, the participating merchant will punch the card. The card can be punched at one store or multiple stores. Cards with $100 punched off will be entered in the retailer’s drawing box. Each participating business will also draw a minimum of one winner to be awarded gift certificates in addition to the grand prizes
Stores participating in the giveaway include: Ace-N-More; Gretter; Edge2: Hy-Vee/ Hy-Vee Wine and Spirits; Don’s Jewelry; Washington Evening Journal; Moore’s BP Amoco; “the original” Wine and Spirits; Archer Appliance Electronics; Rider Sales and Service; Washington Lumber and Home Center; Brown’s Shoe Fit; and Country Market.
The beginning of the punch card event will be in time for the Twilight Shop and Stroll event that will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, in which 13 stores on the square will keep their doors open for additional hours. The Main Street elves will be giving away gifts. The event kicks off the Main Street Washington holiday celebration Showcasing
Nights of Washington (S.N.O.W.), S.N.O.W. Main Street director Sarah Sadrakula said. She said that the Twilight Shop and Stroll would feature live entertainment and refreshments in many of the stores. There will also be a book signing at the Washington Public Library.
“It will kick off holiday shopping and get people downtown to enjoy the evening,” she said. “I’m really excited. It is going to be a good event.”
In 2011, Main Street had felt that the Saturday events and entertainment had done little to bring people downtown, so it decided to try to create its own “Black Friday” — the traditional first day of Christmas shopping — that was unique to Washington.
On Nov. 29, the annual holiday celebration kicks off at 4 p.m. with food and entertainment in the square. New this year, Sadrakula said, is a holiday photo booth. Hayrack rides around the downtown will begin at 5 p.m. A lighting ceremony for downtown buildings will be held at 5:30 p.m. Sadrakula said that the town’s “special guest” will be present at the ceremony.
The 17th annual lighted parade kicks off at 6 p.m. The parade will include Santa Claus’ entering town. At 7 p.m. Santa’s House will open in the former Washington Public Library. Santa’s House will be open at various times until Christmas.
Small Business Saturday will be held Nov. 30. It kicks off at 8 a.m. with breakfast with Santa, which will be held in the United Presbyterian Church. The Jingle Bell 5K Run will be held at 9 a.m. Runners will start on the east side of the square.
The annual tour of homes, sponsored by the Washington Chamber of Commerce, will be held Dec. 7 and 8. The annual Marion Avenue Baptist Church Christmas play will be held Dec. 14 and 15.

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