The Nacogdoches Main Street and Communication department hosted the annual Jingle and Mingle Friday night in downtown Nacogdoches.
Jingle and Mingle is a downtown shopping event that’s been happening every holiday season for several years. According to Nacogdoches Main Street and Communication assistant Jessi Pinkert, the event was started as a way to showcase the multiple shopping opportunities offered by local stores in downtown Nacogdoches.
“We host this event to bring awareness to the community that our shops are a wonderful place to do your holiday shopping,” Pinkert said. “Our shop owners have discounts and specials to entice shoppers to support the locally owned businesses when looking
for seasonal clothes and gifts. The most important part of the event is shopping local.”
During this event, downtown shops extend their hours and launch their Christmas inventory items for the first time. According to Pinkert, those who attend Jingle and
Mingle are often the first to pick out some unique offerings the shops have.
The event is one of the most successful ones of the year for local businesses.
“Many stores will sell out of items during this event due to the popularity of the event, making it one of the most profitable events of the year for our local businesses,” Pinkert said. “Additionally, shopping locally puts money back into our community through sales tax.”
Amy Mehaffey, director of the Nacogdoches Main Street and Communication department, said Jingle and Mingle is very beneficial to the local businesses of downtown Nacogdoches. Since most of the shops are only open until 5 p.m. on regular days, the extended shopping hours provide people who normally have to work during those hours the opportunity to go Christmas shopping downtown with their families.
“I like to say that Nacogdoches starts in downtown,” Mehaffey said. “So if downtown does well, it’s a good indication of the rest of the community and economy and the rest of the town. It’s a really good thing to make sure these businesses are successful.”
According to Pinkert, Jingle and Mingle has grown significantly throughout the years. One of the most notable ways is the addition of food trucks and live entertainment. However, these are very dependent on the weather, which was almost a problem this year.
According to Nacogdoches Main Street and Communication department intern Payton Shilling, the 2018 event was almost canceled because of the weather forecast for the day it tookplace.
There was expected to be an intense thunderstorm, which would have proved to be a problem since a lot of the event, namely the food trucks and entertainment, take place outside.
“As the day went on, the weather cleared up, so we decided to keep it going,” Shilling said. “We contacted all of our entertainment and food trucks and told them that if they were still down to come, we would love to have them, and mostly everyone came.”
Entertainment for this year’s Jingle and Mingle included Maryah McHam, Steffany Karback and Casey Williams. The food trucks present at the event were Brendyn’s BBQ, Shali’s Indian Kitchen and Ur Chef Nac.