These reasons, and more, hold the clues to why many communities are enjoying a resurgence, as consumers look elsewhere for their Christmas shopping and memories. And, that's why local merchants are expecting more shoppers to find their way to downtown Piggott during the upcoming holiday shopping season.
Downtown Piggott, like many similar areas across the country, has seen its ups and downs over the past several decades. For many years businesses closed at an alarming rate and many of the storefronts around the court square sat empty. Today, those buildings are filled with a variety of specialty shops and other businesses as the downtown shopping district enjoys new found attention both locally and regionally.
"In 2009 the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program designated the downtown Piggott area as an historic district," noted Piggott Area Chamber of Commerce secretary Jan Glover. "We've got a lot to offer for those looking for a shopping destination, or those just passing through."
Glover added that the downtown shopping district has a bit of something for everyone.
"We have several antique and gift shops around the square, plus three full-service restaurants, a doughnut shop, a pizza place, two pharmacies, a jeweler, computer and smartphone sales and repair, several beauty salons, two barbershops, two florists, a furniture and appliance store, a hobby shop, a bed and breakfast inn and more."
She noted the court square also provides a hometown backdrop that's not often found.
"We are so fortunate to still have our court square and the smalltown atmosphere that goes with it. The courthouse lawn and the gazebo really provide the kind of ambiance that makes for a great shopping experience...especially when it's all decorated for the holidays."
In the past several days the downtown merchants have been busy preparing for this weekend's Christmas Open House. The Christmas Open House will feature special sales and hours for the majority of the local merchants. The Christmas Open House is being held this Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 8 to 11.
The Piggott Area Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Christmas Fest around the square on Saturday, Dec. 1. The event will kick off with the annual Christmas Parade at 10:30 a.m. and will be going on through mid-afternoon.
"Anyone wanting more information about the Christmas Open House or the upcoming Christmas Fest may contact me by calling the Chamber of Commerce office in the depot at 598-3167," Glover said. She also noted the visitors center in the depot building is the perfect place for out-of-town shoppers to get maps, directions and other information on Piggott and all it has to offer.