WALLINGFORD — Downtown streets were crowded with people enjoying free holiday goodies and discounts during the ninth annual Holiday Stroll on Friday evening.
Shops and businesses on Center Street, Quinnipiac Street and Simpson Court provided complimentary refreshments and discounts to customers, who could also enter to win raffle prizes by visiting businesses.
The free offerings included kettle corn and roasted chestnuts around a bonfire and a DJ playing classic holiday tunes. Carolers, ice carvers and a photo booth were also featured.
Elite Creations Salon on North Main Street was one of more than 60 local stores and businesses participating this year.
Owner Patty Polack said the salon has been participating in the event for about four years and offers discounts on waxing and salon products.
“Every year we do it, it’s a great experience,” Polack said. “It’s just really a festive night.”
Every year, the salon donates a portion of its proceeds to a charity. This year, it benefited Holiday for Giving, a Wallingford organization that helps low-income families enjoy the holidays.
Serenity Salon & Day Spa handed out popcorn to shoppers, while offering 20 percent off merchandise and gift certificates with a 10 percent added value.
Manager Karen Poltronieri said people seem to forget about Center Street and the fun businesses that are in the area. “It’s a wonderful community event that promotes small businesses,” she said of the holiday stroll.
Longtime Wallingford residents Ollie Andrew and Margaret Traynor attended for the first time this year, hesitating in the past due to the amount of walking required.
“We were at the senior center holiday party and I said we should try it. And if we can’t continue walking, we’ll just leave,” Traynor said. So far, they were happy with the decision.