By LISA HOOVER
POTSDAM -- An “I Spy Contest,” free pet photos with Santa, a baking contest, entertainment and many sales are on tap Dec. 1 and 2 for Holiday Shopping Weekend.
Almost 30 businesses in Potsdam are expected to participate in the annual event organized by the Potsdam Chamber of Commerce. Businesses will offer holiday hours, deals and activities for shoppers to enjoy.
“It’s a great time to come to Potsdam to shop,” said Marylee Ballou, executive director at the chamber.
Other highlights will include a wine tasting at T & R Wines & Liquors, Saturday 1 to 4 p.m., SeaComm Plaza; free photos with Santa at Walmart, U.S. Hwy. 11; a food sampling at Willow Tree Florist, Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., 7580 U.S. Hwy. 11, and a chance to try out the University Bookstore’s new café at 39 Market St.
The “I Spy Contest,” will take place at Harris Medical, 63 Market St., and feature activities similar to a scavenger hunt. The pet photos will be offered at Potsdam Agway, Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 14 Pine St., to benefit Spay/Neuter/Now from 10 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 3 p.m. The baking contest, along with a silent auction, is sponsored by the Potsdam Food Co-op, 24 Elm St. Baking contest participants can bring two copies of a favorite treat between noon and 4 p.m.; one to be judged and one to be auctioned.
Participating businesses will also afford shoppers the chance to enter a drawing to win either $100 or $50 in Potsdam Chamber Gift Certificates. The gift certificates can be used at any participating businesses, according to Ballou.
Free parking downtown will be offered until the end of December.
Participating businesses hosting activities include CORC Thrift Store, 8 Market St. (Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., “pick a present” to receive a discount, bake sale); Harris Medical (“I Spy” contest); Maple Run Emporium, 49 Market St. (hand decorated gift baskets); Misty Hollow, 22 Market St. (free gift bag with purchase); North Country neighbors, 6 Main St. (Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., open house); Agway (pet photos with Santa); Potsdam Food Co-op (baking contest, silent auction); Potsdam Museum, 2 Park St. (Sunday 2 to 4 p.m., Victorian Christmas); T & R Wine and Liquors (holiday tasting); Cheshire Cat, 78 Market St. (Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday noon to 3 p.m., specials, drawing); The Cornerstone, 75 Market St. (Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday noon to 5 p.m., holiday hours, specials, drawing); Twisted Turtle, 16 Market St. (enter to win gift certificate, 20% off Donna Sharp); Walmart (free Santa photos), and Willow Tree Florist (Christmas decorations, food sampling, prizes).
Participating businesses holding sales include Arby’s, 172 Market St. (buy one get one free); Argent’s, 32 Market St. (20% Saturday); Best Friends Thrift Shop, 8 Raymond Ave. (50% off holiday items); Bicknell Appliance & Home Interiors, 49 Market St. (some floor items 60% off); First Crush, 32 Market St. ($1 hot chocolate, small coffee); Friends of Potsdam Library, Civic Center, Park St. (Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., used book sale); Good Times Party Store, 57 Market St. (Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., holiday decorations); Little Italy, 30 Market St. (free garlic knots with $50 purchase); Mh Studios, 63 Market St. (40% off products, 25% off service); MVP Sports, 11 Pine St. (20% sale); Northern Music and Video, 29 Market St. (Sunday noon to 4 p.m., music sale); Potsdam Hospital, 50 Leroy St. (20% off plush items Saturday, 20% holiday items Sunday); Potsdam Humane Society, 17 Madrid Ave. (Saturday, pet items, collars, leashes); St. Lawrence County Arts Council, 51 Market St. (Saturday 4 to 6 p.m., exhibit, 5% off); University Bookstore, (apparel and book sales), and Today’s Hair & Day Spa, 36 Market St. (hair care gift sets, gift certificates).