Downtown Fort Wayne comes alive during the holidays thanks to the Downtown Improvement District’s Holidayfest activities. From the Night of Lights to the Holly Trolley Shopping experience, there is something for everyone. My favorite event during Holidayfest is Holly Pop, a three-day pop-up retail experience featuring local entrepreneurs and designers.


This year’s Holly Pop will kick off on Night of Lights on Wednesday, November 27—shops will be open from 4 to 7 PM—and run through Thanksgiving weekend: Friday, November 29 from 4 to 7 P M and Saturday, November 30 from 10 AM to 6 PM.  Located in vacant retail/office space at 127 West Wayne Street, it’s a one-stop-shop for anyone interested in getting a start on some holiday shopping or those looking to learn more about local brands.

Participating brands include: Belyst, Eternal Youth Co., Sweets So Geek, Opal and Ruby Gift Emporium, The Ginger Kitchen, Green Frog, Hedgehog Press, Kernel Coladas Gourmet Popcorn, OFabz Swimwear, Pretty and Polished, The Good Ones Clothing Co., The Olive Twist, Sharp Dressed Van, Stitched by Elizabeth Ingrid, Jozi Clothing, Cedar Creek Candles, Ferocious Quarterly, Matilda Jane Clothing, Sarahmics, Julie Stuckey Photography, Great Heights Tables - and more! The “shop local” mentality is sweeping the nation, and Holly Pop offers our community the perfect chance to do so. It not only allows small businesses a chance to gain some serious exposure, it sheds light on the potential for more retail businesses to consider downtown, as well. It’s a win for everyone.

Last year was the debut of Holly Pop and the response was phenomenal—at one point, the line was out the door as eager holiday shoppers rallied to support local businesses. This year’s event will feature live music, food tastings, photo shoots, and appearances by many of Fort Wayne’s food trucks. For more information about HollyPop, and to get a sneak peak at the local vendors mentioned above, check out the HollyPop Facebook page. To make your HollyPop shopping into a whole day out, look at Visit Fort Wayne and the HolidayFest 2013 website's for more HolidayFest events and activities going on during HollyPop and throughout the season!