by Amie Sites
Logan’s Landing 13th annual Downtown Christmas Open House drew large crowd and donations from local residents.
Although an exact amount wasn’t known Thursday evening, Becki Harris, Logan’s Landing executive director, said volunteers collected more than the 1,000 pounds of food that was gathered last year.
The event has been tweaked over the years and because of the success at last year’s event, Logan’s Landing planned the same event this year, said Harris.
People began the event by going to the Iron Horse Depot, 400 E. Melbourne Ave., and donating non-perishable food items or pet items. For each item donated, donors got one ticket, a chance at winning any of 25 gift baskets donated by local merchants.
After volunteers showed up at the Depot half an hour before the event, shoppers came early, too, said Harris, and donated food and pet toys in a steady stream.
Harris said they handed out more than 3,060 tickets at the event.
“I went around to different merchants to see how everything was going and a lot of people were out,” Harris said. “It was a great experience and I’m happy so many people donated.”
Marcia Cripe and Nancy Boxell, both of Logansport, donated items to Logan’s Landing early on in the event on Thursday. Both said they had not participated in the event before.
“It’s a chance to donate and look at places I haven’t been,” Boxell said.
Lorna Mollencupp, Logansport, received 100 tickets by donating 50 cans and pet items.
“It’s a fun time and a good place to give donations,” Mollencupp said.
After dropping off donations, participants strolled through downtown merchant shops to see what each merchant’s gift basket included. Baskets ranged in value from $20 to $300. Once people saw what the prizes were, they could choose to enter their tickets for a chance to win a particular basket when it was raffled at the end of the night.
“People tend to be more giving during the holidays and we’re giving people the chance to shop as well as help the less fortunate,” Harris said.
Participants also got a shot at winning Logan’s Landing “bucks” to be used toward purchases made during the evening at downtown shops. About $750 worth of Logan’s Landing bucks were distributed in increments of $2 to $5 at a time, Harris said, and were given out randomly during the day.
Logan’s Landing reimbursed merchants for the “bucks” at the end of the night.
“We’re hoping people will use the event to support local businesses and kick off the holiday hopping,” Harris said before the event started.
Cass Area Transit gave free shuttle bus rides around the downtown so residents could leave their cars and shop. Harris said Cass Area Transit and Cass County Pulaski Corrections were both helpful in keeping the event going.
Repeat visitor Angie Reynoso, Logansport, thought the event was worthwhile.
“It’s a fun night to get out with the girls and have a good time,” Reynoso said.
Amie Sites is a reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5150 or email@example.com.