Businesses benefit from Grand Illumination spectators

By Sabrina Squire - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Tonight the Richmond skyline is lined with thousands of sparkling Christmas lights and we showed everyone the countdown live on 12 News at Six. This was the 25th year for the annual Grand Illumination at the James Center.

It's an event that brings thousands of families downtown and gives local business a much needed shot of Christmas cheer during these tough economic times.

After the lights and the reindeer people who attended the Grand Illuminations took advantage of the downtown businesses that were in close proximity to the event. Parents found this to be a great night to introduce downtown Richmond to their kids.

"I love downtown Richmond and all the things that are down here, so it was great to have a chance to come down and bring my kids and show them what Richmond has to offer," said Amy Miller who saw the Grand Illumination.

"It's a rare occasion to be able to bring your kids down into the slip and there's lots of kids out tonight, so I thought it would be okay to bring them down here," said Mark Miller.

"We use it as an example as a way to have dinner with the kids and take them to the celebrations and there is going to be more celebrations afterwards," said Jay Mann.

Businesses like Richbrau Brewing Company know that this is a special night not only for businesses taking advantage but for the people that are out.

"It has always been something that downtown looks forward to. With the economy being what it is, its been really tough. On a night like this, for everybody comes out and says you know its Christmas lets go out to have something to eat, lets have some hot chocolate, that's what its all about," said Mike Byrne, Richbrau Owner.

This year organizers tell us they plan on shutting off the lights January first. Much sooner than last year.

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