‘Holly Daze’ busy time for Emo businesses

Emo’s annual “Holly Daze” celebration this Friday and Saturday (Dec. 1-2) is not just popular because of the activities like the parade and fireworks.
Special promotions in local businesses also tend to draw large crowds to the community.
“It’s one of our busiest times of the year,” said Dan Loney of Cloverleaf Grocery. “Business has been really good this fall and we’re expecting a really good Christmas season.”
He noted there will be a lot of sales this weekend.
“We’ve got a really hot flyer that’s out right now and we’re going to run it an extra day so on Saturday, there will actually be two flyers running, which is really good for the consumer,” he noted.
Marlene McQuaker, owner of the Village Variety, said “Holly Days” also is busy at her establishment.
“Last year was pretty busy, but we were going through renovations last year, too, so it was kind of crazy,” she remarked.
“We’re doing different things quite often and hope people come to check out their new additions,” she added.
For instance, McQuaker said they’ve now added carpet-cleaning rentals, continue to sell cooked pizzas, and will be offering a lunch special with free dessert during “Holly Daze.”
But some of the smaller businesses in Emo have been struggling and hope “Holly Daze” will generate more sales.
“Business is hurting right now, like a lot of businesses are, but I think we’re going to make it,” said Dave Rempel of Rempel Furniture, who is offering several specials this weekend, like 10 percent off all in-stock dining room tables.
“But this time of year is generally busier,” he admitted. “People are trying to get their Christmas stuff done, so we hope people come on down and see us.
“We have a lot of nice little gift items here for Christmas.”
Carol Inkster, who opened her gift shop—The Purple Llama—earlier this year, also is expecting business to pick up with “Holly Daze” nearing. She will have homemade candy out for people to sample and will do a draw for a $25 gift certificate.
“Business could be better, but hasn’t been too bad since we’ve just been getting started,” Inkster said. “If ‘Holly Daze’ is anything like Spring Fever Days, I’m expecting a lot of people to come through for the free draw.
“I was absolutely stunned for Spring Fever Days because I had never been involved in it before.
“But just in my little shop—and not everyone filled out an entry form—we had 120 entries in the two days, which is a lot of people,” she continued. “They were lining up at the door.
“So it does tend to get people out and they see what you’ve got.”
Inkster sells may different kinds of gift items, as well as homemade llama/alpaca wool socks, which she noted have been very popular.
“Generally on “Holly Daze” we get people from outside of Emo because it’s a whole town promotion and lots of people who don’t maybe regularly come this way stop by since there’s a lot more going on,” indicated Wendy Jackson of Tompkins Hardware.
“With the parade going on this year and the fireworks, it just brings more people out.”
Tompkins also will have many promotions on this Friday and Saturday, as well as free hot chocolate and gift-wrapping.
“It’s busy and it’s a good because everybody gets to chat with people they haven’t seen in a while and gets to see everyone,” Jackson remarked. “It’s very comparable to Spring Fever Days in terms of how busy it is and we’re hoping to get to same kind of crowd out.
“One thing about Christmas time is everyone is buying gifts,” she added. “During Spring Fever Days, people are just out shopping for themselves, but now the crunch is on and there’s only four more weeks to go.”
Jackson said she hopes the weather co-operates, but added a little snow wouldn’t hurt to put people in a shopping mood.
Several business, like Tompkins Hardware, that usually close at noon on Saturday will be open until 4 p.m. for “Holly Daze.”
“We’re just hoping to see lots of people from the surrounding communities,” Jackson stressed.
“It’s always good to see the customers and ‘Holly Daze’ is always well supported,” echoed Loney. “Both days are busy, but more families get out on Saturday.
“They come to Emo and go shopping, and make a day of it. . . . It’s a good time of year for a promotion like ‘Holly Daze.’”