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Downtown merchants expect Saturday's Celebration of Lights festival to be a draw for business. At least two new stores will debut on Main Street this weekend, while other downtown shops plan giveaways, open houses and special events to entice the thousands expected for the winter kick-off festival.
Shelbyville Antique Market, 524 Main St. will celebrate its grand opening this weekend. The more-than-40,000 square-feet building formerly served as the Shelbyville Antique Mall.
During its year of vacancy, the building has undergone exterior and interior renovations and new owners, Gus and Jane Thomas hope to have some space available for the public to view during Saturday's event.
Gus has said the Shelbyville Antique Market will be similar to the previous business in that dealers will have space to sell everything from antique furniture to glass to books and magazines.
"Antiques will always be the bread and butter," Gus said, in a previous interview.
Bikes on Main, 545 Main St., a new 500 square-feet cyclist showroom will also debut Saturday. The store will offer a selection of more than 40 bikes ranging in price from $225 to $1,700, including Jamis, Schwinn and GT brands. The store will also feature other cycling accessories and skateboards and complete bike kits for beginning cyclists, starting at $650. The shop can special order many models and also handle bike repairs.
Storeowner Tom Waggener said that Saturday's Celebration of Lights will be a chance for him and other merchants to highlight their shops and showcase the city's potential of becoming a thriving retail hub.
"It just gets people downtown," Waggener said. "People will see all the possible places here to do shopping."
Bikes on Main will offer special bike-shaped cookies to visitors during the event. Waggener said the store will also offer a 10 percent discount on all pre-ordered bikes through Christmas.
Other downtown retailers are planning similar promotions and activities this weekend, according to Celebration of Lights organizer Sharon Nichols.
The Needle Nest, 702 Washington St. will offer refreshments and feature framing sales; Ruby Rooster Antique Mall, 514 Main St. will offer cookies to festival-goers; Surroundings Design Studio, 408 Sixth St. will offer cider and gift baskets; and Sawdust and Stitches, 610 Main St., will feature Shelbyville T-shirts.
"A lot of the stores will also have drawings," Nichols said.
Magnolias Salon & Spa, 804 Main St., will hold an open house 2-4 p.m Saturday where they will give away a spa gift certificate. The shop will also hold drawings for smaller care packages and offer wine and cider to visitors.
"We're also all decorated on the outside and inside," said store owner Janice Metzger, who will be giving tours of the historic three-story building throughout the afternoon.
WAVE 3 garden expert Cindi Sullivan will broadcast live from W.J. Andriots, 718 Main St., from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, while two other stores will feature live music.
Tracy's, 604 Main St., will host performances by the high school and East Middle orchestras. The Keepsake Shop, 711 Washington St. will feature a trio of string violins.
The holiday festival would not be complete without an appearance from the season's jolliest gift-giver. Kids can pose for pictures with Santa from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at Image Tree, in Millennium Square on Main.
Celebration of Lights will be 2:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday with the city's annual tree lighting planned around 6:30 p.m. Main Street will be closed for the event starting at 2 p.m.