Head downtown for the holidays!
By DJ Wilson, KGW Media Group
With the holiday season in full swing, I always look forward to heading downtown to peruse the local shops and enjoy the city during the most festive time of year. A recent census by Downtown Clean & Safe shows downtown employment and businesses are continuing to grow, so it’s a great time to check out our vibrant, bustling urban core.
In early November, the Portland Business Alliance launched a holiday campaign as part of the city-funded Downtown Marketing Program. Through the month of December, the campaign showcases downtown Portland as a holiday wonderland, highlighting the 750 beautifully lit trees on 63 blocks, including a special installation of snowflake lights on Yamhill and Morrison between Fifth and Sixth Avenue. There’s also Free Parking Sundays, Dec. 4, 11 and 18, and local entrepreneurs participating in the PDX Pop-Up Shop program.
The PDX Pop-Up Shops have become a holiday favorite. Every year the program features local up-and-coming businesses that “set up shop” in vacant retail space for the season. Not only does the program offer businesses the opportunity to showcase their work, but it has also served as the launching pad for permanent shops from past participants like Bridge and Burn, Crafty Wonderland and Boys Fort.
This year’s program just might be the best with participants Faith Hats, which offers reclaimed luxury cashmere sweaters, hats and scarves; Via Raiz, which is dedicated to modern Mexican craftsmanship of jewelry, textiles and homewares; Blanchet House of Hospitality, which offers quality wood products including Adirondack chairs produced by men in its recovery program, and Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO), which supports diverse small businesses through opportunities of empowerment, education and entrepreneurship. This is MESO’s first-ever retail shop. All of the Pop-Up Shops are open through Dec. 24, Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m., and all are located at 606 SW Ninth Ave.
Finally, I want to take a moment to plug a program that is dear to my own company – the KGW Great Toy Drive. There are a lot of families struggling to make ends meet, so please consider helping them provide a great holiday for their kids by dropping off a new, unwrapped toys at the KGW studios or with any Toy Drive partners.
And don’t forget to join the conversation and share any of your downtown holiday pictures on social media with the hashtags #downtownPDX and #PDXPopUpShops. I hope you and your loved ones all have a wonderful holiday season and have a happy New Year!