Buy local this holiday season

Published 1:02 am Sunday, November 27, 2011

Buy local. Sounds so simple. It is so important.

As the holiday rush hits full stride — with Black Friday madness over and four weeks until Christmas Day — the stores will be abuzz with activity. Make an effort this year to give Vicksburg a chance. Yes, this city and its shops. There may be more in other cities, but more is not necessarily better. It might be easier to shop online, but to buy locally is to drive our own economy forward.

Myriad options exist in Vicksburg.

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The Vicksburg Mall on Pemberton Boulevard is making a dramatic comeback. Belk department store in September announced more than $200 million for improvements to its stores nationwide, including the Vicksburg store. Belk is anchored nicely in the mall and should draw in many more shoppers, leading to more businesses opening. No longer a place for mid-morning walks only, the mall is again thriving.

Residents of Vicksburg cannot get more local than downtown. With decorations throughout the downtown area, music playing and the warm holiday feelings inside, downtown is the place to be. Do some window shopping, eat at a local establishment and find the perfect gift. Also downtown today, Dillard’s department store will open a “temporary” store, open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., at 1311 Washington St. It will be a part of today’s downtown Vicksburg Old Fashioned Christmas Open House. The goal of the weekend — it began yesterday and concludes today — is to attract foot traffic to downtown.

For those who love history, Vicksburg is as historical as it gets. In the coming 20 months, the city will be a showcase for historians and common history buffs. The sesquicentennial of the Siege of Vicksburg will begin late next year. Get a piece of that history — trinkets, books, maps and other collectibles — are available right here. Visit the park and the museums in town.

Any shopper can go into the biggest of the big box stores and buy this or that. Anyone can go online and spend money at a business in Oregon, or overseas. But to get the feel of Vicksburg, to find some gift unique to our area, to our history, is to buy local goods from local and locally owned stores.

There is little need to go to Jackson for Christmas shopping.

Give Vicksburg a shot. See what it has to offer.

We know you’ll be glad you did.