By Dana Kroll, Uptown Marketing and Communications Specialist
Grand Rapids, Thursday, November 2, 2023: Uptown GR Inc., in collaboration with its 2023 event sponsors, announces the return of the Uptown Shop Hop, on Thursday, December 7, 2023 from 3-9 pm. Shop Hop is the organization’s signature event and over the past 26 consecutive years has crafted a place as one of the region’s most beloved of annual holiday shopping experiences. Record breaking business and attendee participation is anticipated again this year.
For more than a quarter century, the traditional holiday Shop Hop event has served as an invitation to visit Uptown Grand Rapids, for one special evening per year. During the event, patrons can holiday shop, eat, visit, enjoy entertainment, and make memories, all while supporting the small and independently-owned businesses that are located throughout its four business districts – Eastown, East Hills, Wealthy Street, and East Fulton.
UGRI collaborates with its volunteer-led committees and in partnership with various local agencies to plan and market the event each year. Through strategic efforts and investments spearheaded during last year’s 25th anniversary event, the district experienced unparalleled increases in Shop Hop brand awareness. The organization seeks to capitalize on this momentum and encourage an even wider audience to consider a visit to its district for holiday shopping and merriment this year.
One such strategy was to, for the first time in recent event history, offer an official partnership opportunity to the Uptown district business community and supporters of the event, and the enthusiasm and response to this invitation resulted in unparalleled participation, with thirteen area businesses and organizations who have stepped forward to bolster the event.
Says T.M. Camp, Co-Owner Spirit Dreams, and key partner in the Uptown Shop Hop 2023: “Everyone at Spirit Dreams looks forward to Shop Hop each year! It’s a genuine delight to help people from all around the area discover unique, beautiful gifts and be a part of the joyful community spirit. And we’re proud to be a sponsor of UGRI’s important work uniting and supporting the small businesses in our neighborhoods.”
UGRI would like to thank Spirit Dreams for its support of Shop Hop, as well of all of its sponsors, listed here: Spirit Dreams, Mobile GR, Grand Rapids Office of Special Events, Sticky Fingers, Rebel, Harmony Brewing Company, Modish Moth, Basic Bee Boutique, Vinyl Alchemy, Reagan Marketing + Design, Terra GR, Terra Bagel, and Flockx.
Last year’s event marked the highly anticipated return of its most popular attraction, its free “jolly trolley” services, which offer festive transport between districts and establishments to event attendees. Last year’s engagement of eager riders exceeded expectations. UGRI has taken the opportunity to adjust the trolley routes and stops to allow visitors more time to explore the district.
The Uptown Shop Hop takes place from 3 until 9 pm, during which over 150 small and independently owned businesses will be ready with everything needed for hyper-local shopping, dining, live entertainment, interactive installations, and more.
Per Ingrid Miller, Uptown GR Inc. Executive Director: “Shop Hop is a highly anticipated event that helps to kick off the holiday season in Grand Rapids. We welcome friends new and old to come discover the magic of our district, build community with neighbors, and support our unique local businesses.”
Meanwhile, holiday shoppers and experience-seekers are encouraged to visit from now until December 24, where they will find a cheery and welcoming district that is fully accessible, walkable, and with gracious parking throughout.
Uptown consists of four business districts: Eastown, East Fulton, Wealthy Street, and East Hills. In all climates, Uptown celebrates its people, partnerships, and possibilities. Its mission is to sustain a strong and vibrant urban district through planning, coordinating, and communicating with and between all sectors of the Uptown community and beyond.
For more information about this and all things Uptown, please contact Ingrid Miller.
For more information about Spirit Dreams, please contact T.M. Camp.