MASSILLON – Sam Heaton, owner of Erie St Vinyl in downtown Massillon, will be attending SantaCon in style.
The event encourages the public to dress up as Santa Claus or other holiday costume while supporting local businesses and raising money for charity.
Heaton creates her own outfit, mimicking Audrey Griswold’s character from the iconic “Christmas Vacation” movie. Heaton said she would be dressed as “Frozen Audrey,” a reference to when Clark Griswold takes the family in search of the perfect Christmas tree.
Heaton and other downtown Massillon business owners invite the public to display their own holiday spirit at SantaCon, a local spinoff of an annual national event in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Cincinnati and other cities of the country.
“I love the costumes, I go a little deep,” she said with a laugh. “It’s celebrating the holiday spirit, getting people moving and enjoying what downtown Massillon has to offer, and what we’re trying to do here as businesses.
“And work together and bring people here… and share this joy and prosperity,” Heaton added.
Family fun and adult fun
Dori Heck, who owns both Downtownhecks Tap Room and The Sangria Stand, helps coordinate the event with her husband, Matthew, and other downtown shopping operators.
Matthew disguises himself as Santa Claus and Dori disguises himself as a Christmas tree. The couple are encouraging those visiting downtown Massillon for SantaCon Saturday to wear any holiday-themed costume, including an elf.
About twenty downtown businesses are participating. Passport books are priced at $ 8 each at some of the businesses and will offer discounts at retail stores, restaurants and bars.
From noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, the activities will be family-friendly.
Art Gem will have craftsmanship. The Massillon museum will have an ornamental creation. The companies will offer candy to the children.
Also from noon to 5 p.m., vacation photos will be taken in an alleyway near the Sangria stand, with the decor of a vintage Volkswagen bus decorated for the holidays and featuring white and cream decor. Father Christmas will take pictures with the children from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
“SantaCon After Dark” will be for adults, with live music including My Buddy Josh’s Band from 5 to 8 p.m. and Hey Monea from 8 to 11 p.m. at Downtownhecks and Jordan Long from 8 to 11 p.m. at the Hideaway Lounge. Other businesses will also have live music.
Support good causes
Matthew Heck said the idea was to celebrate the holidays and support downtown businesses while raising money for charity through the sale of passport cards and donations.
“At the end of the day, it’s our community,” he said. “We are doing everything possible to increase recognition of downtown Massillon. It’s a very walkable community, it’s nice… and it’s a safe, tight-knit community with great shopping, great venues, great bars and great restaurants. “
Heaton, from Erie St Vinyl, credited Matthew and Dori Heck with motivating her to attend SantaCon.
“Dori is so creative and she is always looking to enrich an evening at Massillon,” she said. “And Matt is a go-getter here at Massillon and he wants to get things done.
“It’s invigorating to jump on the train with them with the SantaCon.”
Participating businesses and sites in downtown Massillon include: Downtownhecks Tap Room, The Sangria Stand, Hideaway Lounge, Benders Food and Spirits, The Alibi, Margaritas Mexican Restaurant, Overtime Grill & Pub, Greatness Cafe, Massillon Museum, The Sugar Bowl , A Victorian Reflection, Engravers Gallery & Signs, Chloe’s Diner, epatheKeri, Charmed Again Designs, Erie St Vinyl, CJ Duncan Jewelers, Art Gem, Smiley’s Ristorante and Pizzeria, BH Studios, Daugherty Hair Company and The Root Vegan and GF Cafe.
The Massillon WestStark Chamber of Commerce is also involved. For more information on Massillon SantaCon, visit www.facebook.com/groups/323360382623022.
Donations will be made to charities selected by individual businesses, said Matthew Heck.
Charmed Again Designs is donating proceeds from Saturday’s painting sales to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Erie St Vinyl will donate to the Domestic Violence Project. Benders donates to the Massillon Police Department store with a cop. The Sugar Bowl donates to Toys for Tots. The Root Vegan donates to the Wounded Warrior Project.
In addition, epatheKeri donates half of all essential oil sales on Saturday to the Family Living Center in Massillon. Hideaway Lounge supports the association because I said I would.
“At the end of the day, it should be a good time,” said Matthew Heck. “It’s a great way to bring people together for the holidays to support local downtown businesses and have fun. “
Contact Ed at 330-580-8315 and [email protected]
On Twitter @ebalintREP
Where to buy a SantaCon passport
SantaCon discount booklets can be purchased at the following shops in downtown Massillon for special offers in shops, restaurants and bars on Saturdays:
- Downtownhecks Faucet Room, 43 Lincoln Way E
- The sangria stand, 39 Lincoln Way E
- Benders Food and Spirits, 50 Lincoln Way E
- Hideaway Lounge, 34 Diamond Court SE
- Erie St Vinyl, 46 Erie St. N
- The Sugar Bowl, 47 Lincoln Way E
- L’Alibi, 37 Erie Street North
- Greatness Café, 121 Lincoln Way E
- Overtime Grill & Pub, 48 Second St. SE
- Charmed Again Designs, 115 Lincoln Way W
- Massillon WestStark Chamber of Commerce, 50 North Ave. BORN