CHICAGO ( November 11, 2019 ): More than 100 Andersonville businesses are featured in the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce's ( ACC ) holiday programming lineup this season with a full schedule of shopping, dining, entertainment, traditional Swedish events, the return of the Andersonville Holiday Trolley, and visits from Santa. The Chamber also kicks off the holidays with the third year of the #AlwaysAndersonville Pledge Local Campaign, encouraging residents and visitors to commit to supporting local businesses this holiday season.
"Every holiday season, we ask people to 'think local first' when choosing where to shop and dine," shares ACC Executive Director Sara Dinges. "Supporting local, independent businesses this time of year helps ensure these shops thrive year-round. Find a gift in Andersonville? Buying it here will keep our businesses here. Not only will you find quality, one-of-a-kind gifts and experiences in Andersonville, you'll be keeping our neighborhood one-of-a-kind for years to come."
ACC gathered data in 2018 that showed even small commitments to shift spending can make a huge impact: If Andersonville residents shifted just 25% of their total holiday spending, $6 million would be infused into the local economy this holiday season alone.
In conjunction with the #AlwaysAndersonville pledge campaign, ACC will release the 2019 #AlwaysAndersonville Shop Local Passport starting on Small Business Saturday on November 30. Chamber staff will be stationed at Meeting House Tavern ( 5025 N. Clark ) from 12:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. for passport pick-up.
To use the passport, visitors only need to make a purchase at 10 or more of the 130+ locations listed inside before December 31, 2019. Featured passport businesses include retail locations, restaurants, arts and culture, health and wellness, and service providers. Passport participants can then mail or drop off their passport directly to the chamber offices at 5217 N. Clark St. #3 by January 10, 2020 to enter to win prizes, including one grand prizewinner of the Andersonville Experience 2020 - a pass that includes tickets and special access to all 2020 Andersonville crawls and events.
The Late Night Andersonville events return on December 6 and 20 and feature later hours and discount offers for shopping, drink and dining specials, and self-care or service promotions; plus, photo opportunities with Santa, carolers, and the return of the Holiday Trolley, running along Clark Street from 6:00 9:00 p.m. both nights.
The neighborhood will once again highlight its traditional Swedish holiday events with support of Julmarknad ( December 7-8 ) and St. Lucia Festival of Lights ( December 13 ), both spearheaded by the Swedish American Museum.
November and December 2019 - Andersonville Holiday Event Highlights:
Andersonville Holiday Trolley:
November 30 ( 12:00 p.m 4:00 p.m. ) and December 6, 20 ( 6:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m. )
The Andersonville Holiday Trolley will run a continuous loop, stopping on both the west and east sides of Clark street at eight intersections between Lawrence and Clark ( 4800 N. Clark ) and Gethsemane Garden Center ( 5739 N Clark ). The trolley will complete one full rotation approximately every 30 minutes and rides are FREE to all visitors. ACC's Holiday Trolley is supported by Urban Pooch, Foursided, Bar Roma, Pearle Vision Lawrence & Clark, Meeting House Tavern, The SoFo Tap, J. Blanton Plumbing, and Open Space Early Learning Center. It will also feature special appearances by holiday carolers. Visit the Holiday Trolley website page for updated entertainment schedule.
Small Business Saturday: November 30 | 11:00 a.m. 6:00 p.m.
Andersonville celebrates the national Small Business Saturday movement the Saturday after Thanksgiving with special offers from more than 100 participating businesses. Pick up an #AlwaysAndersonville Shop Local Passport from ACC staff starting at 12:00 p.m. at Meeting House Tavern ( 5025 N. Clark ). View passport and campaign details at andersonville.org/alwaysandersonville . Passports will also be available at participating businesses and on the Andersonville Holiday Trolley.
JOY on Clark Street: December 3 | 11:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m.
ACC, in partnership with more than 60 businesses, invites adults 60 and over to kick off the holiday shopping season with JOY on Clark Street, a day of special discounts, promotions and treats. Advance RSVP is required.
Late Night Andersonville: December 6 & 20 | 5:00 9:00 p.m.
Participating Andersonville stores stay open late and offer special refreshments and deals for shoppers. Enjoy restaurant specials, carolers, pictures with Santa, musicians, and more through the district. The FREE Holiday Trolley runs along Clark Street from 6:00 9:00 p.m. New this year, ACC will host a Tree Lighting Celebration with Santa on Friday, December 6 to kick off the Late Night Andersonville programming at 5:45 p.m. The Holiday Tree is located on the west side of Clark Street just south of Balmoral between U.S. Bank and The Clark. View event schedule and promotions: www.andersonville.org/events/holiday-events/late-night-andersonville/ .
Traditional Swedish Holidays: Julmarknad ( December 7-8 ) and St. Lucia Festival of Lights ( December 13 )
Julmarknad, a traditional Swedish "Christmas Market" will feature a complete schedule of events on the weekend of December 7-8. The Swedish American Museum ( 5211 N. Clark ) will host Swedish entertainment, food, and crafts at this indoor holiday market. Admission: Donations welcome.
The St. Lucia Festival of Lights returns on Friday, December 13, with a candlelit procession departing from the Swedish American Museum ( 5211 N. Clark ) at 4:45PM. The Lucia procession will walk north along the east sidewalk of Clark Street, looping back south at Balmoral to Foster before returning to the museum for a short program of songs and treats at the museum. Admission to the program is $1 or a food donation at the door for Care for Real.
Andersonville Toy Drive for Care for Real: November 30 - December 13
The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual gift/toy drive to benefit over 1,000 kids and teens in partnership with Care for Real. Toys can be dropped at several locations throughout the district from November 30 through December 13. View drop locations and additional Andersonville business charity drives: www.andersonville.org/events/holiday-events/andersonville-holiday-drives/ .
Information for Andersonville's Holiday programming will continue to be updated at andersonville.org/holiday-events .
The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce fosters a vibrant environment in which Andersonville businesses can thrive by attracting a diverse customer base; providing business support services and advocacy; and engaging in business attraction, long-range planning, and economic development.
From a press release