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Christmas in a Small Town draws shoppers

By Staff | Nov 15, 2019

The decorated windows at Market on Main in Rugby.

Rugby bustled with shoppers from all over last weekend as businesses celebrated their second annual Christmas in a Small Town event.

Local merchants treated shoppers to chocolate treats and other goodies, apple cider and special deals on a variety of items last Thursday evening through Sunday. The Rugby Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors’ Bureau sponsored the event.

One local business, the Farmer’s Wife Cakes, created a custom winter cake for display at Main Street Boutique, according to a Facebook post.

Wild Minds Studios featured a “cocoa bar” filled with chocolate candies, pretzels and hot cocoa for customers.

“This was my mom’s idea,” said designer Bailey Nelson, daughter of Wild Minds Studio owner Daunne Heilmann.

“We brought all of our Christmas stuff out (for the event),” Nelson added.

Cindy Brossart of Cindy’s Country Cupboard had goodies out for her customers as well. “I served sweets and apple cider,” Brossart told the Tribune. “I had all my Christmas dcor on sale. I will have it on sale until it’s gone.”

“I’ve been making more handcrafted items that will be available too, now,” Brossart noted. “I’m making microwave neck warmers with flaxseed in them and those microwave bowl holders, too. You heat up a cereal bowl of oatmeal and it holds it so you don’t burn your fingers. I’m going to have more of my handmade crafts in the store now, too. That’s why the other inventories going on sale because I’m making room for my handcrafted stuff.”

A few doors down from Cindy’s Country Cupboard, Jessica Brossart of Market on Main said the weekend kept her busy as well.

“It went really well,” Jessica Brossart said. “I was excited that so many people came out for Christmas in a Small Town and will continue to do their Christmas shopping (in Rugby). It really helped the businesses get prepared early for Christmas so I really liked that about it.”

She pointed to unique art pieces decorated with pine garlands and colorful bows.

“We’re festive with our Christmas lights and lots of Christmas trees out here and more stuff in back,” she said. “We were so busy getting our fall clearance stuff to the back and our new Christmas stuff out front that we didn’t have time to do anything extra. But everyone was happy to see all the fun, new things,” she said.

Next door to Market on Main, Jennifer Mattson at The Jeneral Store praised Christmas in a Small Town as well.

“I put the Christmas consignment stuff that I had out and I did Christmas gift card giveaways on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. So if you came into the store and signed up, I gave away three $25 gift cards, one at the end of every day,” Mattson noted.

“I felt there was (a big response to the event). There were a lot of different people, not just from Rugby. There was a variety of people that were in and out of the store all three of those days,” she added. “I was very pleased with it and it was nice to see so many shoppers out, even if the weather could have been a little warmer.”

Stylin’ You Salon held a fashion show the first night of the event. “We had the Shoephoria sale – a live fashion show,” noted Jodie Kirchofner. “It was great.” The salon was open through Sunday last weekend.

The Rugby Hardware Hank store offered coffee and goodies to shoppers, according to Terry Hoffert.

Christmas in a Small Town extended beyond downtown: On Highway 2, The Brown Lantern celebrated with Christmas dcor and more treats. On Highway 3, Magnolia Wellness Spa featured sales on salt lamps and other items.

St. Michel Furniture featured drawings for gift cards and furnishings.

“We started our anniversary sale, which is our biggest sale of the year,” said storeowner Rob St. Michel. “Until the end of the month, we give away $17,000 in prizes. They’re really good prizes. There are 10 different drawings.”

Daphne Haman of Fashion and Flair Outlet said she noticed some customers had traveled from out of town for the event.

“So far, (Thursday) night, we’ve had quite a few,” Haman said of customers who had come from out of town to check out the store’s “Buy Three, Get One Free” sale. “We’ve had people here from Devils Lake, Bottineau, Dunseith, Towner, several people from the Rugby area. It’s been great.”

“It’s a great event,” Haman added. “People look forward to it. There are several people who came back who were here last year. They noted the date and wanted to come back to shop Rugby.”

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