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Iowa City Downtown to Celebrate Holiday Season with Carriage Rides, Family Activities and More

The annual festive event will feature downtown retail businesses and will begin with luminary walk on Friday Dec. 2 at from 5:30 to 8 p.m., and will continue on Saturday with a visit from Santa Claus.

Want to do some holiday shopping and spend some quality time with the family at the same time?

On Dec. 2 and 3, downtown Iowa City will be doing its best to make this achievable.

Organizer Nick Arnold, executive director of the Downtown Association of Iowa City, said the annual event will feature some of the classic family fun that families have been enjoying for years, including a visit from Santa, kid’s yoga, cookie decorating, musical entertainment, and free horse-drawn wagon rides through downtown.

"It's just as a way to really welcome people downtown and get their shopping going at the downtown businesses," Arnold said.

New this year will be an organized luminary holiday display in the windows of downtown businesses on Friday, Dec 2. Starting at 5:30 p.m. that night, Arnold said visitors can take in the holiday sights, enjoy some musical performances and perhaps even get a visit from Santa and his reindeer. Arnold said another new feature this year will be free parking in downtown ramps for the duration of the event.

Then, on Saturday, the Holiday events will continue, a visit from Santa Claus in the from noon until 2 p.m. While families are waiting to see Santa, they can join the numerous activities or go shopping, as downtown retailers will be holding retail open houses. Customers will receive a gift with every purchase.

Some participating retailers include: , , , Velvet Coat, Lorenz 2.0, , , , , Raygun, , Iowa Artisans Gallery, , Herteen & Stocker, Hands, Glassando, Dulcinea, Chait Galleries, Catherine’s, Bella Joli, Akar and .

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