Decatur - Central Illinois residents gathered in downtown Decatur Wednesday for the city's Christmas Walk. Even though this is an annual tradition, it's the first Christmas Walk with the completed Streetscape Project; as a result, downtown looks brand new. Bunny Thomas, the manager of Coney McKane's participates every year.
"It is a coming together of all the merchants downtown to show what a warm community we are down here."
After one year of planting street lights, building new sidewalks, and rearranging the roads, shoppers now get to enjoy a downtown that's easier to navigate.
"Before it was kind of a jumbled conglomerate of streets and now it's just one solid flow," said Thomas. You can get around easily. You don't have to trip over anything."
The finished construction also makes it easier for residents to shop locally and support small businesses.
"We have a lot of small businesses that, if you haven't been downtown, you probably wouldn't know about so coming down and shopping locally gives you a chance to see what people have been able to come up with," said Thomas.
With Christmas carolers, carriage rides, and in-store deals, traditions like the Christmas Walk give residents an even greater reason to celebrate small business. Nikki Rambo has worked at Del's Popcorn Shop through 6 Christmas Walks.
"It's so amazing. Everyone gets in the Christmas spirit. It just puts you in the best mood."
If you've missed today's festivities, don't worry. The shops out here will have deals all through the holiday season.
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