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Southwest Portland's shopping and dining district sees return of tree lighting, Santa and Golden Ticket promotions.

PMG PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Shoppers peruse decor and housewares at JP General in Multnomah Village. Each year, the Southwest Portland neighborhood hosts a holiday gala with a community tree lighting and retail promotions, among other festivities. Southwest Portlanders came out in full force for the return of the Multnomah Village Holiday Gala.

The event, which kicked off Friday, Dec. 3, with Southwest Portland's monthly First Friday shopping event and Golden Ticket promotion, culminated in a holiday tree lighting, live acoustic music and photo sessions with Santa Claus.

Shoppers and families lined the sidewalks and packed the plaza for the festivities, peering through store windows, browsing bargain book bins and marveling at novelty gifts. Shops donned festive decorations and window displays.

PMG PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - A family strolls the shops along Southwest Capitol Highway in Multnomah Village during the annual Multnomah Village Holiday Gala.The Golden Ticket event allows shoppers to receive a ticket from participating shops for spending a minimum amount. The ticket can be redeemed at a neighboring business for discounted items or other promotions.

"The village has stayed lit up because of all of your support," Petie Farkas, owner of Peachtree Gifts, told the crowd in the plaza just before the tree lighting.

The return of the tree lighting and visit from Santa was a welcome return for 3-year-old Olive, whose tiny face reflected the lights of a modest Christmas tree in the village plaza as she reveled in candy canes from Santa. Nearby, carolers dressed in period garb roved the blocks, belting out Christmas classics.

While businesses across the city have struggled to stay afloat, the shop local edict has taken on new meaning. Portlanders have seen the vulnerability of their favorite brick-and-mortar shops, 21 months into a pandemic.

For Jenna Boyer and her family, strolling the village is a weekly affair.

"We're usually out here every Friday," Boyer said. "I think a lot of people (turned out) because we love our local businesses. I'll look up a book on Amazon and then go buy it at Annie Bloom's."

PMG PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Bella, 4, checks out a Furby toy at Village Kids Supply Co in the Multnomah Village neighborhood of Southwest Portland during the annual holiday gala and Golden Ticket shopping promo Dec. 3.Boyer has come to rely on the retail shops and restaurants that line Southwest Capitol Highway and Multnomah Boulevard, noting she rarely has need to leave the area for shopping.

The Golden Ticket event continues through the end of December at shops in Multnomah Village.

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