Waunakee’s Shop Hop, organized by the Waunakee Downtown Merchants Group, brought many families to the downtown Saturday morning. With reindeer to visit at the Gather, chestnuts roasting and hot chocolate, the event offered a fun venue on the village’s Main Street.

Waunakee has had so many fun events this holiday season — concerts, ballets and plenty of opportunities to visit with Santa Claus. He was at the Shop Hop, too, providing families an opportunity to photograph their children with the big guy. And the stores offered specials for shoppers seeking unique gifts.

A number of special events have drawn people to the downtown area to celebrate the holidays this year. As families and friends attend events in their hometown, the fun activities have fostered a stronger sense of community and connection.

After many years of seeing so few people shop on Main Street, the hustle and bustle in the historic downtown Saturday brought joy. Village officials and the Chamber of Commerce have worked on this goal for many years, and Saturday, it seemed Main Street was, indeed, revitalized. It seemed more like downtown Lake Geneva.

Main Street merchants have also worked to make the historic shopping area an inviting place. And community members I saw that morning seemed to have fun shopping locally.

Waunakee is fortunate to have a village board, Chamber and shop owners who care about the village and strive to make it an attractive place to live, work and shop.

Of course, the holidays are about much more than the shopping. The tradition of gift giving goes beyond spending money. The holidays are time to reconnect with friends and family, to celebrate the less tangible gifts we give one another.

This holiday season, Waunakee offered a number of avenues for such celebration. These were the gifts to the community from all the performers in the productions, the shop owners, village workers and Chamber members who shared their time and talent to bring this village alive with the holiday spirit this season.

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