Proprietor Jeannie Bodine told her customers where they could eat while they were in town and directed them to other stores for shopping.
“I sent them to everybody whether they participated or not,” said Bodine, owner of The Purple Pig Antiques and Artisans, of this past weekend’s Mingle & Jingle holiday open house.
Bodine’s store was among 24 Trigg County businesses to participate in the open house, which this year was on Friday and Saturday.
Organized by the Trigg County Chamber of Commerce, the event encouraged people to get an early start on Christmas shopping by visiting the local merchants, and store owners said they enjoyed a steady clientele over the two days.
“I never see local people,” Bodine noted of the tourists who typically frequent her store.
But this time was different, with residents outnumbering tourists shopping for antiques.
Customer Patty Glass described herself as a junker rather than an antiquer and said she enjoys shopping at The Purple Pig as well as other stores in the local community.
She didn’t know about the Mingle & Jingle but browsed at least two stores that were participating in the promotion, including Consignment World and The Purple Pig.
“Today, I’m kind of looking at Christmas decorations, vintage decorations,” she said of her reason for dropping into the local stores.
Over at the Janice Mason Art Museum, Leida Tackett said “groups of friends” were coming by to browse through the museum’s offerings.
Local artists displayed their work for sale, books by authors Kim Fortner and Paul Fourshee could be had, and the likes of holiday ornaments and handcrafted toys were among the items available for an interested public.
Tackett noted that last year’s inaugural Mingle & Jingle was so successful for the museum that officials decided to be a part of it again.
People were enjoying getting together, hanging out and going to eat, she said.
“So they’re stopping in here,” Tackett said, noting that the Mingle & Jingle is a great way to get people in the Christmas spirit at a time of year when people are ready to go shopping.
After participating for the past couple of years, Bodine said she believes the holiday shopping event needs to continue in the community.
She was tickled this year to see people out and about.
“They’re here, and maybe they’ll come back,” she said, crediting Chamber Director Beth Sumner with the success of Mingle & Jingle.
“We’ve got to keep our downtown alive,” she continued.
Bodine said Sumner is really, really good at what she does, and she said the goody bags containing coupons that Sumner gives away as part of the event are well sought after.
Women were excited to get theirs this year, said Bodine of the bags that also come filled with gift cards, give away items and swag.
Sumner noted that the Mingle & Jingle 2022 attracted more shoppers as well as businesses that participated in the holiday shopping.
To accommodate people who said they couldn’t come on a Saturday, Sumner added an extra day this year, inviting Friday shoppers.
She actually gave away most of the goody bags on Friday, with only 25 left to give to prospective shoppers on Saturday morning.
Sumner said Mingle & Jingle is intended to increase people’s awareness of what is available in their own community.
“I always want to emphasize the (idea of) ‘shop local,’ ” she says, pointing out that local businesses are the ones supporting ball teams, youth and senior activities in the community.
Business owner Melissa Rogers of Trigg Tropics tanning salon and boutique agrees that the Mingle & Jingle is good for business.
Over the two days of this year’s event, she experienced a steady number of customers.
“It’s just good for the community, just good promotion for all the small businesses,” noted Rogers of the annual holiday open house.
Sponsors for the 2022 event included Cadiz-Trigg County Tourism, EnergyNet, WKDZ/WHVO Radio and Rodeway Inn, in addition to the chamber.