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Jacksonville holidays get off on the right foot

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Andy Atkinson / Mil TribuneThe Jacksonville Chamber gave away hot cider to shoppers in downtown Jacksonville Saturday.
Andy Atkinson / Mil TribuneA local family makes their way through the windows of businesses in Jacksonville Saturday.

Small Business Saturday coincides with start of Victorian Christmas events

It appears for business owners in Historic Jacksonville that this might be a happy holiday season.

A good size crowd of people moved up and down the sidewalks of West California Street, holding shopping bags and visiting local shops and restaurants. Many businesses participated in Small Business Saturday, which is an effort that focuses attention on small local businesses across the United States to help them boost sales.

The community also began celebrating the holiday season with its tree lighting and Victorian Christmas Tours at the Beekman House Museum.

Rotarians were helping the Jacksonville Oregon Chamber of Commerce raise money Saturday by serving small cups of hot apple cider outside of the United States Hotel Building. The sweet, fragrant refreshment was free -- though donations to help the community pay for special events were welcomed as warmly as the cider itself.

Among those events would be the Victorian Christmas Parade this coming Saturday, also on California Street, starting at 10 a.m.

Lyn Boening started off using just one word to describe the turnout Saturday: “incredible.”

“An awesome day in town,” Boening said. “Just like the good old days.”

That would be pre-pandemic days.

Also helping with the sidewalk cider service was Donna Briggs, who brought her grandchildren Sierra Briggs and Bailey Briggs, ages 4 and 9, respectively. Both girls were carefully preparing and presenting hot cider to thirsty passersby.

The parade and other such events are fun, bring a large number of visitors to the area and encourage residents to come together.

They also “cost money,” Donna Briggs said without even a touch Grinchiness in her voice. It was a good day.

Stephanie Nowacki, of Ashland, came to Jacksonville to buy some locally made items for holiday gifts. She visits Jacksonville a few times a year.

“I’m just shopping for family and friends,” she said. “For family that doesn’t live here.”

They especially love receiving craft items from the Beaver state, Nowacki said.

Andy Atkinson / Mil TribuneA locals make their way by businesses in Jacksonville Saturday.

Not too far away from where Nowacki stood is Willow Creek, which has an array of gift items that come from creators in Oregon and Washington.

“Things are going great. It’s been pretty steady,” said Mary Jo Bohnenkamp, a store employee. “We’re blessed to be open.”

“We’re so glad to see so many people here from Medford,” said Michael Morris. He was with his wife, Linda, as well as daughter Sara Razavi and son-in-law Mason Razavi. The younger couple is visiting from San Jose, California.

The group stood down the street from the shop and had just finished eating at La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant.

“It was wonderful,” said Linda Morris.

They planned to shop until it was time for dinner at home, including a stop at Rebel Heart books.

And in a public parking area packing up to leave for the day were some more Medford residents who brought some family members visiting from Seattle along with them.

“The buildings were beautiful,” said Craig Woods, of Seattle, who brought an apothecary bottle. “It was delightful. But I spent too much money.”

For details about Jacksonville’s other upcoming holiday events, visit ChristmasInJacksonville.com.