Continue to Discover Needham Local First

By Devra G. Bailin, Town of Needham’s Economic Development Director

I hope many of you were able to enjoy this year’s exciting Holiday Stroll and Blue Tree Lighting on Saturday, November 24th, which was a fun-filled afternoon of entertainment and activities, and, of course, shopping and dining.  For those of you who couldn’t make it, I encourage you to Discover Needham and Shop Local First throughout this holiday season.  Many of the projects and programs initiated on November 24th are on-going.

Many of the merchants, including The Closet Exchange, Taylor’s Stationery, Pollywogs, Black Sheep Knitting, Perennial Designs, The Grey Goose and Home Trends, are competing in a window display contest.  Many of the windows are already beautifully appointed but all must be completed by December 7th.   The windows will be judged on December 15th by Needham High School’s own Art Teachers: Linda Burke, Cara Studds, Ann Freeman, and Shireen Yadollahpour.  The windows will be judged by their lighting, creativity, props and decorations, presentation and arrangement of merchandise, and overall holiday spirit.  Let the merchants know how much you appreciate their efforts by going in and introducing yourself to them and discover what they can do to fill your holiday requirements.

Your independent locally-owned businesses want you to continue your holiday purchases here in Needham and are sponsoring a special Local First Passport Program.  Participating merchants include The Closet Exchange, Taylor’s Stationery, Pollywogs, Black Sheep Knitting, Perennial Designs, The Grey Goose, Harvey’s Hardware, Home Trends, The Center Café, and Gari Japanese Fusion.  But just ask your independent locally-owned merchant and restaurant—look for the Discover Needham Local First logo on the window—if he or she is participating in the Local First Passport Program.  If so, pick up your Passport and begin making your twelve qualifying purchases of $25 from November 24th to December 24th.  (If you, for example, purchase $25 worth of goods, services, or meals, you will receive one stamp on your card; if $100 four stamps on your card; etc.)   Once you fill your Passport with stamps, it can be entered into a prize drawing.  You are free to make as many purchases as you like and complete as many Passports as you can fill with stamps.  You must be 18 years of age or older to participate.  Completed Passports must be submitted by January 10th to a participating merchant to be eligible for the cash prize drawing.

As part of its ongoing partnership with local artists, the merchants are joining forces with our artists—young, amateur, and/or professional—to decorate the empty storefronts of the former Theater Building (916 Great Plain), thanks to the participation of its owners, Tony Caruso and Ken Mackin.  Thanks to artists Julie Ellison, Mary Hensley, Gina McClennan, Zachary Lichtman, Lisa Downey, Angela Turner, Brenda Stark, Maggie Stark, Melanie Ludlow, Maggie Coffey, Jolene Edington, and the kindergartners of Hillside School under the direction of Ariel Shoemaker for their holiday spirit.  Much of the art work is already on display; final installations should be by December 7th.  The winter scenes are bright and creative and will delight all ages.  Additional window art will be installed at 1110 Great Plain thanks to the participation of owner Chris Lynch.

Enjoy a relaxed and rewarding experience doing your holiday shopping this year and give back to the business community which provides so much to us—shop, dine, Discover Needham First.