Downtown Unwrapped kicks off in New Paltz on Nov. 30

The New Paltz Downtown Business Association invites one and all to participate in Downtown Unwrapped, a weekend holiday event which begins on Friday, Nov. 30 with a gnome hunt and festive stroll to view decorated store fronts. Pictured left to right are: Jeff and Theresa Logan of The Cheese Plate, Julie Safran and son Vicente Fernandez of Cocoon and Verde, Melinda Minervini of Handmade and More, Kathy Preston and daughter Nora of The Treehouse and Walter Marquez of Water Street Market. (photo by Lauren Thomas)

For the fifth year in a row, the New Paltz Downtown Business Association (DBA) will kick off the holiday shopping season with “Downtown Unwrapped,” a festive and funky tour of all that the unique and independently owned village businesses have to offer.

The spirited night of “shop local” for the holiday season will commence at the Water Street Market at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30. Everyone who walks the tour of the unwrapped holiday window displays will receive an “awesome discount card” to all 40 participating businesses, said Julie Safran, owner of Cocoon and Verde in downtown New Paltz.


“We have more businesses than ever participating this year, which is exciting,” said Safran. She noted that one of several new additions to this year’s “Unwrapped” event includes a kids’ Gnome Hunt at the Water Street Market, as well as free hot beverages and snacks for those who embark on the tour of the magical village with its windows and holiday lights illuminated in all their eye-candy splendor.

This year, instead of Safran guiding the tour of local hot spots, it will be led by village trustee Ariana Basco and town councilman Jeff Logan. “I’m kind of old-hat by now,” joked Safran. “We really wanted to bring the town and village governments into the festivities, and those two will lead an inspiring and fun-loving tour!”

The walk begins at Water Street Market, travels east up Main Street, turns a left onto Church Street, then a right up North Front Street, where another surprise lurks: The Barefoot Dance Center, based in West Park, will have 40 of its dancers performing at the “Unwrapped” festival along the green space between Verde and the North Cottage on North Front Street at approximately 7:15 p.m. “We’re really excited about this, as it will add another dimension,” said Safran.

Sticking with holiday tradition, the walk will be accompanied by the overbooked, under-the-gun, deadline-thinkers and dream-makers, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus themselves!

Although the title of the annual event remains the same, Safran said that this year, businesses would not be “wrapping” up their storefront windows with newspaper or brown paper. “We wanted to promote our beautiful village and all of the unique shops we offer; but unfortunately, when you wrap up your storefront window, people think that you’re out of business!” said Safran. Therefore, businesses will still surprise patrons, visitors and tourgoers with stunning shop-window displays that will be completed on Nov. 30 pre-walk, but will not hide their stores behind wrapping.

The spirit is festive and celebratory, and Safran reiterated that by supporting local businesses, “you support your community and your local economy…you help create more jobs. For every $60 spent at each local business, hundreds of jobs are created, the money is circulated back into the community and everyone benefits. When you shop at a mall, you do not benefit your community. When you shop locally, you not only have a plethora of unique, one-of-a-kind gifts, but you help to strengthen what we all want to preserve: a dynamic downtown, a magical village and all the riches that New Paltz has to offer.”

When looking at the 40 businesses signed on for the “Unwrapped,” event there is really no need to go outside of New Paltz for holiday shopping. It’s all right here, from books to music to clothing to kitchenware, jewelry, exercise equipment and apparel, art supplies, restaurant gift certificates, shoe stores, outdoor and climbing gear, jewelry, one-of-a-kind New Paltz designs, locally grown produce…the list goes on.

To learn more about the event, go to the Facebook page at New Paltz Downtown Unwrapped, which gives details, updates, special offers and more.