Well, the last couple of days have certainly proven that even the holiday shopping spirit is not match for Mother Nature as the elements saw fit to drop a foot of snow throughout most of the Midwest, forcing the cancellation of the town’s major Christmas event, the Lights Fantastic parade. Typically, the Lights Fantastic parade brings thousands of people into downtown for most of the day as they jockey to get good viewing spots for the spectacle. This gives stores in the area bordering the parade the opportunity to entice them inside prior to the parade with specials or, more often as in our case, hot cider or tea and cookies, as well as the opportunity to use the bathroom. The Lights Fantastic Parade typically increases a December Saturday sales by about a third with minimal effort on our part.
Unfortunately, due to the weather and concerns about traffic, the Illinois Department of Transportation pulled the parade permit the day before the parade. No permit, no parade on a state highway. so we had lots of cookies and hot cider to give out to many fewer people