The holiday decorations in some Main Street storefronts are blue, but merchants were not during the town’s Think BIG, SHOP Small event on Nov. 28.
Shoppers ogled baubles in the cases at Miami Lakes Jewelers, where a security guard helped enforce social distancing and made sure customers wore masks before they entered the store.
Mercedes Mathias, a store manager, said, “We’ve been extremely busy. Pandora, Tous and Tacori, that’s what people are coming in for.”
Mathias said sales topped those of a year ago, because of the brands they promote on social media.
“And gifting is always going to happen,” she said. Wedding planning stalled by the pandemic has resumed, and “there are a lot of impatient brides and grooms” who are buying rings, she said.
Unlike in 2019, when crowds attended the Festival of Lights to hear a children’s chorus, visit with Santa and get in the holiday spirit, this year it was all about supporting the shops and restaurants while keeping a healthy distance from others.
The patio at 100 Montaditos restaurant had a decent crowd; across the street, a DJ played pop hits.
“It is important that we safely support businesses as a community in the town of Miami Lakes and find new ways to promote them during these unprecedented times,” said Andrea Graham Rechichi, vice president of corporate relations at The Graham Companies.
The company owns Main Street.
At the Styles Boutique Miami, owner Aniet Losada said, “It’s been great. Today has been very busy.”
She also uses social media to promote her business but said customers who weren’t familiar with her online sites also shopped.
Perhaps it was her Christmas tree with its pink ornaments, the open store door or the balloon display that urged them to ‘Shop Small!’
BLACC Boutique and Moda by Pasarela also had big balloon decorations to attract shoppers.
Even Girl Scout Troop 436 had a good fundraiser from their corner stand at New Barn Road, where the team sold Santa hats customized with names for $5.
“We’ve been doing better than expected,” said Jessica Alvaredo, a troop leader. “We’ve sold 30 hats so far.”
The blue fountain became a selfie station, with a headless gingerbread man waiting for kids to pose and a Santa statue with his own selfie stick.
It drew families who created their own holiday photos.
Janette Isla, Jason Parrondo and their sons Logan and Luke were competing in the ongoing Great Miami Lakes Scavenger Hunt and visited Main Street to complete a couple of tasks for the game.
The couple said they enjoy all the town’s events.
“We can do something different and get out of the house,” Janette Isla said.
Maria and Jorge Sanchez and their son Oliver posed with the Santa statue.
“We understand how local businesses have been affected by the quarantine,” Maria Sanchez said. “We wanted to show up, buy something and show our gratitude to a beautiful city that gives us so much.”
Doing Christmas shopping along Main Street with her mother Dalila Cabrera, Yenisey Cabrera said, “It’s different than last year, and I miss that energy, 100%. But it’s important to support the businesses. We’ve got to make the best of it.”