CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Small business owners in downtown Charleston say the 2021 holiday shopping season started out strong.

Taylor Books owner Dan Carlisle says that on Friday, the store did possibly the most business it has ever done and at the Odd Bird Emporium gift shop, they say sales this Black Friday beat sales on the same day in 2019. 

The traditional Black Friday shopping was paired with the city’s monthly Art Walk. The day was filled with things for children to do like writing letters to Santa and cookie making, live music, vendors along Capitol Street and a tree lighting.  The inaugural Holly Jolly Brawley Christmas Display of 50 Trees also lit up a portion of downtown through the walkway that connects to Capitol Street.  The tree display will be up through New Year’s Eve. 

“Not only was Holly Jolly Brawley a way to encourage folks to come downtown and connect with one another as we kicked off the holiday season but small businesses were flooded last night,” Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin said. 

Adelphia Sports Bar & Grill owner Deno Stanley said the eatery had a special Black Friday Brunch that was successful, and that they had a wait most of the evening with the inaugural Holly Jolly Brawley event. 

A few doors down at Pies & Pints the day was described as “phenomenal” by a manager as tables inside the restaurant were full from open to close. 

At the Purple Moon Art Gallery, owner Connie Hamsher said it was one of the best Black Friday’s they’d seen in many years. 

Hamsher said one thing that stuck out was the number of new faces she saw inside the store, adding there “was not a lull” in traffic at any point during the day. 

“Folks who hadn’t been downtown in a while had an opportunity to see all that is new. Two-hour wait on tables at most restaurants and local retailers told me it was the best night they had not just on Black Friday —but best night during the past holiday shopping seasons,” Mayor Goodwin said.