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The Joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others’ burdens, easing each other’s loads, and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of the holidays.

 –W. C. Jones

Holiday Greetings from Main Street Gardnerville!
The holiday season is upon us, with the New Year close behind. Everyone I talk to lately is in awe that we have already reached the end of another year.  It feels like we were just wine walking, and summer was just last week, and then the cold arctic blasts of air quickly remind me we are definitely in the winter season.
Maybe it’s because we had a magical start to the holiday season that makes it feel this way. The Town of Gardnerville outdid themselves this year with the Christmas kickoff. It was THE BEST ONE YET.  We get a lot of credit for things around here, but for this one,  we need to give the Town a BIG standing ovation. From the cobbler and cocoa served by the incredible Town Board members and volunteers, photos with Santa accompanied by Marie, the town secretary extraordinaire, with the sweetest welcome to the youngers waiting to tell Santa their wish list, firepits blazing, Tahoe Sleigh electric carriage rides around the park, the talented youth dancing and performing for the crowd, the fire dancers and breathers (that was incredible), popcorn served by Gardnerville Water Company and of course the FIREWORKS. It was perfectly perfect.
The Town of Gardnerville set the stage for the rest of the season, and we followed suit. We hosted our Candy Cane Main – Shop Main Street kickoff shopping extravaganza on Saturday, December 2. The downtown was crawling with eager shoppers looking for that special find.  I don’t think anyone walked away empty-handed, judging by the full arms and totes; I think everyone found something for the special person on their list (and maybe a few things for themselves!). We added a new element this year by partnering with Tahoe Sleigh Rides to add electric carriage rides that whisked the shoppers up and down the district.  Seeing the carriages and their smiling passengers was a special sight to see. I don’t know about you, but I always want to live where the holidays are welcomed enthusiastically.  It just makes everything feel so special and so much like home. Here is a quick highlight of the wonderful holiday kickoff weekend. 
If you missed the shopping extravaganza, don’t worry. Our Candy Cane Main campaign will continue throughout December, promoting our local businesses and merchants and encouraging you to shop locally for the holiday season.  Our enhanced interactive map of participating businesses is live, and you can access it HERE. PLUS, today is the day we drop our Perfect Gift guide of hand-selected favorites from our local merchants to help you find that perfect gift from the heart for your loved one.  Scroll down and see this year’s must-haves hand-curated by your local merchants. We want to extend a warm thank you to our friends at Visit Carson Valley and Outside Lake Tahoe TV for this wonderful feature of the event.
As you know, we LOVE our small business community. By shopping locally, you are doing more than just keeping local dollars local. For some, the sales over this holiday season will set the stage for the upcoming year. Our businesses have been greatly impacted by the recent construction of 395, and that construction is just getting started. They need our support now more than ever.  Our small businesses are the heart and soul of our community, and by supporting them, we are also supporting our friends, our neighbors, and parents, working to provide for their families and helping to keep their doors open and remain that heart of our community.  During this holiday season, make sure to pop in and show them your support; it is the best gift you can give them this season.
Speaking of gifts, don’t forget to vote for your favorite business’ Holiday décor in our Light up the Holiday contest. You can help give your favorite local business the gift of their Main Street Gardnerville 2024 business sponsorship to us! To vote for your favorite holiday lights, click HERE.
As the year wraps up, we only have a couple of opportunities for making some Main Street Memories together. Remember: THIS SATURDAY is our annual Wreaths Across America Ceremony, Saturday, December 16, 2003, at 9 am at Garden Cemetery.  This is a beautiful event where we welcome the community to honor our Veterans laid to rest during the holiday season by placing wreaths on their gravesites.  It is a beautiful ceremony held concurrently with over 4000 participating cemeteries nationwide and the wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.  Please join us as we Remember, Honor, and Teach the value of each of these veterans’ sacrifices.  This event is open to the public, and we invite you to attend and participate.  You can watch a quick clip of the wreaths arriving yesterday by clicking HERE.
Our last event of the year is coming quickly! Mark your calendars and join us on December 31st from 6-9 pm for the Heritage Park Garden’s annual Candlelight Labyrinth walk. Why walk a Labyrinth on New Year’s Eve? It’s a time to create hopeful tomorrows. Labyrinths are used worldwide to quiet the mind, recover a balance in life, meditate, gain insight, reduce stress, create, and celebrate. What better time than New Year’s Eve to clear your mind of the 2023 clutter and welcome the New Year with fresh intentions for those hopeful tomorrows? This is a family-friendly, free event. We will have fire pits to stay warm and hot cocoa/cider, so bring the whole family and friends.
Well, Main Street, my final newsletter of 2023 is a wrap.  On behalf of Main Street Gardnerville, I want to say what an absolute pleasure it was to share so many Main Street memories with you this year, and we look forward to doing it all over again in 2024.  You have filled us with a sense of gratitude for this very special place we call home. Remember to share that love with your neighbors and community. For some, this season brings sadness and isolation. Be the reason those find a reason to smile today, and as always, tip generously, support your local businesses and friends, and be kind to each other.  May the holidays bring peace, love, and joy to your family this season.

See you on Candy Cane Main!


Jen Nalder, Program Director
Main Street Gardnerville
Main Street Gardnerville is a 501c3 non-profit whose mission is to revitalize downtown Gardnerville utilizing design, organization, promotion & district vitality to develop a unique identity and preserve the historic nature of our community.