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Downtown Holiday Open House boosts shops, pride

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) — Hundreds navigated through Downtown La Crosse Friday night to celebrate late night shopping and holiday spirits for Downtown Mainstreet’s ‘Holiday Open House.’

Over 50 businesses participated this year. Shops extend their hours until 8:00 p.m., offering appetizers, drinks, raffles, and drinks for customers.

Beforehand, shop owners roll out their holiday decor to welcome the season. The downtown puts up decorations to brighten the streets.

“It’s a nice hometown event,” said Kim Pretasky, owner of Touch of Class.”You run into people you know, and everyone is really in the holiday spirit, so it’s really a lot of fun.”

Pretasky’s business has been part of the event since it started 20 years ago.

“We realized that if we all got together and did it, it would be a lot of fun, and we’d get more participation for everyone, and it’s really turned out to be that way,” said Pretasky.

For many of these small shops, it’s one of the biggest days of the year.

“This is our biggest shopping day of the entire year,” said Peggy Rodriguez, owner of Painted Porch. “We are completely set up for Christmas, and it just gets everybody in the mood.”

Both owners and customers develop a sense of pride in their town and the holidays as the evening unfolds.

“I love downtown,” said Rodriguez.

To learn more about the event, visit



Mike Beiermeister

WXOW Weekend Anchor and Reporter

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