FOR the second year in a row, Stroud businesses are joining forces to create an outdoor twilight shopping experience.
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With many events being cancelled throughout the year, business owners on Cowper Street are ensuring Christmas festivities are full steam ahead, preparing special offers for shoppers on December 11, from 5pm – 8pm.
In aims to bring tourism back to the small town, the market encourages the theme of ‘locals supporting locals’ according to owner of Stroud Hardware Lea Gartrell.
“We’ve found a lot of people from out of town have been really supporting us lately, just wanting that local product.”
Success from the previous event, created by Stroud Hardware along with next door store Crafty Friends, has encouraged the whole street to participate this year with a range of locally sourced artwork and products available for purchase.
“We’ve all got unique stuff, most of it is made in the local area and very close surrounding areas,” she said.
“So, you’re not only supporting the local store here but you’re supporting a lot of local artists.”
After major events like the Stroud Rodeo and Stroud Country Fair were cancelled due to difficulties with complying with COVID restrictions, Secretary of Crafty Friends Karen Hutchinson said locals are welcoming a night of enjoyment.
“We’ve got sewers, we’ve got one amazing lady that restores furniture with chalk paint, and we have some talented cooks that make beautiful preserves,” she said.
“Stroud Butchery does amazing stuff. His meat is greater than great.”
Closing their doors for a few weeks during the initial COVID lockdown, Hutchinson said they have since been getting ‘smashed’ by people travelling to regional areas outside Sydney and Newcastle.
“COVID has been a dreadful thing, but by golly it’s been good for regional areas,” she said.
“I think people are feeling a bit more secure that we’ve had no cases.
“So, they would stop in Stroud, but I would say probably 80 percent of people went on to Gloucester.”
Stroud Hardware will be offering many discounts and handing out six unique hampers to those in need.
Crafty Friends will be offering 15 percent discounts storewide, and Stroud Butchery will be teaming up with Stroud Valley Harvest to present ham and pickle tastings.
Numerous more specials will be available on the night from neighbouring stores on Cowper Street.
By Samantha Cooke