BY KENDRA EVENSEN
BLACKFOOT — Community members may not consider downtown Blackfoot a shopping thoroughfare, but the Blackfoot Business Alliance is hoping to change that.
The group comprised of local business owners will hold its eighth annual Winter Walk on Dec. 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in downtown Blackfoot. The event, which gives community members a chance to stop by local stores and offices to learn more about the products and services available in the area, will highlight 28 businesses this year.
“The whole idea is to give exposure to the businesses and let the public know what’s available,” said Audrey Stanfield, director of the event and owner of the formal wear, floral and gift shop, Holiday Boutique & Roses.
“There is a misconception that there are no businesses downtown.”
Christine Wood, owner of the health food store Christine’s Herbs and Things, agrees. Although her business is celebrating its fourth year in Blackfoot, she still gets first-time customers who have never heard of her store before.
“There are a lot of businesses that people don’t even realize (are here),” she said.
Those who participate in the Winter Walk will start at the Nuart Theatre, located at 195 N. Broadway, to visit with Santa Claus and pick up a map of the participating businesses, Stanfield said. They will then have an opportunity to stop by each of the locations — most of which will be giving away goodies or other handouts.
Wood said she will give away goody bags at her store, and will also let people enter a drawing for a customer appreciation gift basket in honor of the business’ fourth anniversary.
Stanfield said those who want to visit all 28 businesses should plan on spending at least an hour and a half at the event.
“It does take awhile to go to 28 businesses,” she said, adding that participants will be able to walk to most of the locations, but it may be easier for them to drive to others that are further away.
Wood hopes people will take the time to participate in the event.
“It used to be exciting to walk around and see all the shops (downtown), but we’ve lost that hometown feeling,” she said. “We want to get that back.”
“This is to let people know how many businesses we have downtown,” she said. “Come join us for some fun and see what Blackfoot has to offer.”