CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – While some people were heading to the big box stores for Black Friday deals, a crowd of people gathered in downtown Charleston for the second annual Holly Jolly Brawley celebration.

On the eve of Small Business Saturday, people like Purple Moon co-owner Chuck Hamsher have been getting in on some of the extra business traffic early.

“It’s been a tough few years, so folks getting out and supporting it and doing that is what’s going to make sure we have a vital small business community,” Hamsher says Friday afternoon.

Several streets were blocked off, city parking was free and the holiday decorations were a huge draw. However, part of the goal of this event is to showcase the city’s small businesses.

“It’s really exciting to see this, I mean lots of folks are coming down to see us. I think it’s just going to be off the charts downtown,” Hamsher says.

The event not only helps brick-and-mortar shops but also gives smaller vendors, like O-Susie-Q.

“These events are huge for us, it’s where we do a majority of our business and it’s great,” co-owner Keira Marsha says.

Since the Holly Jolly Brawley’s huge success in 2021, small businesses have been counting down the days, as this is one of their busiest times of the year.

13 News also spoke with some people out shopping in the stores, talking about what draws them in each year. Some said it was the decorations and the atmosphere, but others said it was the unique shopping experience.

“I mean, there’s just so many people who care and it shows in everything that they make, so I love seeing stuff like this,” Charleston resident Claire Hemme tells 13 News.

Store owners and shoppers agree that the Holly Jolly Brawley celebration helps keep up the holiday cheer and also helps out the small business community.