CHICAGO ( November 16, 2018 ): Over 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 a new event aimed toward adults 60 and over.
The Chamber also kicks off the holidays with the #AlwaysAndersonville Pledge Local Campaign, encouraging residents and visitors to commit to supporting local businesses this holiday season.
"In Andersonville, we believe it's the local, independent businesses that make our community special — and we want people to think local first," says ACC Executive Director Sara Dinges. "Our data shows that if all of Andersonville shifted at least 25% of their holiday budgets to local, independently-owned businesses, $6 million could be infused into our local economy this season alone. Small commitments can make a huge impact."
In conjunction with the #AlwaysAndersonville pledge campaign, ACC will release the 2018 #AlwaysAndersonville Shop Local Passport starting on Small Business Saturday on November 24. Chamber staff will be stationed at George's Ice Cream and Sweets ( 5306 N. Clark ) from 11:00 a.m. — 2:00 p.m. for passport pick-up. The first 50 shoppers to claim their passport will also receive a $5 gift card to a local Andersonville coffee shop ( The Coffee Studio, TrueNorth Café, Kopi Café, Ridman's, and Dollop Diner ) courtesy of funding provided by Small Business Saturday.
To use the passport, visitors only need to make a purchase at 10 or more of the 100+ locations listed inside before December 31, 2018. 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 4, 2019 to enter to win prizes, including one grand prizewinner of the Andersonville Experience 2019 - a pass that includes tickets and special access to all 2019 Andersonville crawls and events.
New this holiday season, ACC welcomes adults 60 and over to JOY on Clark Street, a day of shopping on Tuesday, November 27 from 11:00 a.m. — 4:00 p.m. An RSVP is required, and participants will check in at the Swedish American Museum ( 5211 N. Clark ) from 11:00 a.m. — 1:00 p.m. to pick up a JOY lanyard and to enjoy light refreshments.
"We have a large demographic of active older adults in and around Andersonville, and we wanted to offer a holiday shopping day for these residents," said ACC Business Service Manager David Oakes. "JOY on Clark Street showcases how accessible and welcoming Andersonville is as a shopping and dining district year-round."
The Late Night Andersonville events return on December 7 and 21 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 1-2 ) and St. Lucia Festival of Lights ( December 13 ), both spearheaded by the Swedish American Museum.
November and December 2018 - Andersonville Holiday Event Highlights:
Andersonville Holiday Trolley: November 24 ( 1:00 p.m — 4:00 p.m. ) and December 7, 21 ( 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 six 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 and will feature décor by Foursided ( 5060 N. Clark ) and special appearances by holiday carolers. Visit the Holiday Trolley website page for updated entertainment schedule.
Small Business Saturday: November 24 | 11:00 a.m. — 6:00 p.m.
Andersonville celebrates the national Small Business Saturday movement the Saturday after Thanksgiving with special offers from over 80 participating businesses. Pick up an #AlwaysAndersonville Shop Local Passport from ACC staff starting at 11:00 a.m. at George's Ice Cream & Sweets ( 5306 N. Clark ). View passport and campaign details at andersonville.org/alwaysandersonville. Passports will also be available at participating businesses and on the Andersonville #ShopSmall Holiday Trolley.
JOY on Clark Street: November 27 | 11:00 a.m. — 4:00 p.m.
ACC, in partnership with over 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. Community partners include: 40th Ward Office Patrick O'Connor, 47th Ward Office Ameya Pawar, 48th Ward Office Harry Osterman, and the Lakewood Balmoral Residents' Council.
Late Night Andersonville: December 7 & 21 | 6:00 — 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. View event schedule and promotions.
Traditional Swedish Holidays: Julmarknad ( December 1-2 ) 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 1-2. 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 Thursday, 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 14
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 14. View drop locations and additional Andersonville business charity 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.