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12 Days of Ruston holiday shopping rings in the season

December 17, 2015

 

PAYTON POTTER

Staff Reporter | jpp017@latech.edu

 

For the second consecutive year, 12 Days of Christmas Shopping in Lincoln Parish has drawn many holiday shoppers into local stores and restaurants and offered the possibility of cash prizes to top shoppers.

 

The shopping spree, which ran from Dec.7-18, utilized shopping “passports” to encourage residents to shop locally for their Christmas gifts.

 

Passports served as a listing of all participating stores, a game card for collecting stamps and an entry into a prize drawing.

 

For each participating store a shopper visited, he or she received a stamp in the passport.

 

Throughout the next two weeks, shoppers seen with passports were selected at random to win a number of $25 gift cards, appropriately titled Surprise Santa gifts.

 

No purchase was required to receive a stamp.

 

Ivana Flowers, Chamber of Commerce communications and special events coordinator, said that both students and local businesses benefit when the students get involved in 12 Days.

 

“Students are going to be here a minimum of four years, and they need to know what stores we have in town,” said Flowers. “It’s a good way for them to get out and find new retailers.”

 

Judy Copeland, Chamber of Commerce president, said Louisiana Tech students should participate in future 12 Days of Christmas Shopping events because they can find new stores, finish all their Christmas shopping and enter to win $1,000 or $100 cash prizes courtesy of Origin Bank, formerly known as Community Trust Bank.

 

“It’s lots of fun, and students can win money,” Copeland said.

 

In addition to competing for prizes, participants helped bring more business to Ruston retailers.

 

“One of reasons that we choose to participate is because 12 Days brings local traffic onto campus and into the store,” said Colleen Durrett, manager at Barnes and Noble at Tech.

 

According to Durrett, 12 Days of Christmas Shopping brings in customers who wouldn’t normally shop in the bookstore.

 

In addition to finishing their holiday shopping early and competing for prizes, 12 Days participants also helped increase the recognition of small business by checking in online.

 

Everyone with a passport was encouraged to get further involved by following Instagram accounts, checking in online, using hashtags and staying on the lookout for flash sales, special announcements and door prize giveaways.

 

Flowers said 12 days of Christmas Shopping benefitted the residents of Ruston by increasing the number of customers shopping at small, often family-owned, businesses and allowing more money to stay within the local economy.

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