HOUSTON – The City of Houston held its annual Christmas Open House on Sunday, Dec. 1. Several local businesses participated and offered incentives for patrons to visit their businesses.

Many shops offered discounts, door prizes, food and other incentives to get people into their doors.

It seemed to work too. The foot traffic in Houston was busier than many have seen it in a long time.

However, attendance was not as good as it has been before.

When asked about attendance and participation compared to previous years, Chickasaw Development Foundation Director, Sean Johnson said that it is lower than last year.

“[Participation] is lower,” said Johnson. “We have had a steady crowd, but with the date being right there with Thanksgiving hurt us. I would say lower attendance, but everyone who has been seems to have been having a good time.”

The biggest pull this year seemed to be the carriage rides that were offered on the square. According to Johnson, last year people had to pre-reserve tickets, but this year was much less exclusive. Anyone wanting to ride simply had to pay five dollars.

“The carriage rides have been busy,” he said. “We did it last year, but the way the did it was you pre-bought tickets and so it was more of an exclusive thing. This year, if you’ve got five dollars you can get on the carriage, so it is a lot more laid back.”

There were some visitors from outside of Houston who attended the event.

“I liked it,” said Wanda Payne of Nettleton. “I liked all of the little shops and the horse carriage rides were an excellent idea!”

Some of the businesses that participated were:

– Ava Michael’s Boutique

– Casey and Co.

– Diamond O

– Down Yonder Boutique

– DD’s Closet

– Gann’s Clothing

– Houston Family Pharmacy

– MS Smooth Carriage Ride

– Nabor’s Home Center

– Shopaholics Pop Up

– The Bus Stop

– Tiny Sisters Boutique

– Trendy House

The event, while suffering some setbacks such as the date, still seemed to be a success. However, there may be some changes too avoid the setbacks next year.

“I would not say that I am disappointed,” said Johnson. “However, next year we will definitely take a look at the date.”

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