Over the years, downtown holiday decorations have ranged from dazzling to meh.
But that still beats across the river. The west bank of the Saugatuck has had no Christmas presence whatsoever.
The potential — with locally owned small shops, boutiques, restaurants, a high-end tailor, art gallery, the only toy store left in town, plus all that waterfront — is there. The execution has been missing.
For the past 2 years, Natalie Toraty — owner of Noya Fine Jewelry — has been discouraged by the lack of holiday festivities just a few steps over the bridge from Main Street.
This year, she and her neighboring businesses are doing something about it.
They’re collaborating to bring holiday joy — and customers — to what Natalie calls “this amazing part of town.”
Businesses have organized a “Shop and Stroll” event every Wednesday and Saturday, through Christmas. Shops will be open until 8 p.m., with special promotions, food, drinks and entertainment. The first one is today — and Natalie is offering a designer trunk show.
The west side of the river has long played 2nd fiddle — or 3rd? — to downtown and Saugatuck. It doesn’t even have an official name.
But this holiday season, the folks who have invested their dreams — and money — there will bring lights, fun — and joy — to the area.
It’s their gift to all of us.