Princeton Merchants Association amps up holiday season programming

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The Princeton Merchants Association (PMA) and community partners have spearheaded an initiative to enhance the shopping, dining and strolling experience in Princeton throughout the holiday season.

“Princeton, pure holiday magic, says it all,” said Jack Morrison, president of the Princeton Merchants Association. “Whenever anyone speaks of Princeton, ‘what a beautiful town’ are the first words mentioned. This year the PMA has focused on raising the holiday spirit in you with carolers from various community organizations, visits from Santa, holiday wreaths, sparkly lights, Palmer Square’s new & amazing ice skating rink along with the World Class Christmas Tree on the square. Add to all this, great shopping and dining and there is a whole lot of fun just around the corner from where you live. Please come and join us.”

Setting the stage, in addition to 88 wreaths festooning downtown doorways, the PMA has also invested in additional holiday lighting to add a twinkle to each of downtown’s historic light poles.

Palmer Square has installed a skating rink, open through Feb. 29 on weekend afternoons and Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.

Recruiting musicians from across the surrounding community, the PMA will present holiday music in three different downtown locations (Palmer Square, Hinds Plaza and Landau’s) throughout the month of December. Performers include the Princeton High School Choir, Einstein’s Alley Musician’s Collaborative, Princeton Pro Musica and several others.

Festivities will collect around the weekend of Dec. 7 and 8 for Princeton’s first-ever Holiday Market Days. Eighteen participating market shops will offer festive decorations, music and holiday cheer. Pick up a holiday market card and throughout the weekend get it stamped at participating shops; then give your completed card to a participating retailer to be entered for a prize drawing.

Throughout the Holiday Market Days weekend, there will be several Santa appearances. On Saturday, Dec. 7, Santa will be serving up cookies at the Princeton Shopping Center from 12-2 p.m., while on Sunday, Dec. 8, Santa will be available for photos in Hinds Plaza from 2-5 p.m. Santa will be also be strolling through Palmer Square throughout the weekend.

“We are very excited to present the first Holiday Market Days promotion in Princeton,” said Joy Chen, PMA’s Marketing Chair. “Not only do we get to shine a spotlight on our one-of-a-kind merchants, but we also add a little extra fun to your holiday shopping this year. Each of the participating retailers will offer an extra special experience for the whole family.”

The Princeton Tour Company’s wintertime trolley tours return for another festive season, offering fascinating tales on a journey through several picture-perfect neighborhoods.

McCarter Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol,” another local holiday tradition, also returns as a treat for the whole family. Members of Princeton’s own community form part of the cast that bring this classic story to life on stage from Dec. 10-29.

McCarter Theatre, Morven Museum and Garden and Palmer Square will offer a wreath-making workshop at 11 Hulfish St. on Dec. 7. Palmer Square will also host gingerbread decorating on Dec. 14. The Cranbury Station Gallery offers a paint party to complete a seasonal masterpiece on Dec. 12.

Palmer Square will also host a Hanukkah celebration on Dec. 19 with music, food and fun.

To make all of these festivities as easy as possible to access, free street parking will be available downtown Monday-Friday after 6 p.m. and Sundays all day until the New Year.

Visit the Princeton Merchants Association webpage for more details about events and promotions: www.princetonmerchants.org/holidays.

About Princeton Merchants Association:
The Princeton Merchants Association is a non-profit, member-based organization committed to making Princeton a great place to live, work and play. The Princeton Merchants Association fosters a vibrant, sustainable local economy by attracting, nurturing and maintaining a mix of businesses that serve the economic, social and material needs of the community.