Shopping late? Shop local. Local vendors offer unique gifts, experiences


TRI-CITIES, Tenn. (WJHL) — We are now just four days from Christmas, and if you’ve put off holiday shopping you may be panicking. There’s no need to worry when there are plenty of local vendors where you can buy gifts and experiences.

“It’s not too late to snag those last-minute gifts,” said Lindsey Jones with the Johnson City Development Authority. “We actually have 17 merchants that sell merchandise to retailers in our downtown district.”

This year, downtown Johnson City is also offering locally made and branded items.

“We have some beautiful ornaments that were made locally,” said Dianna Cantler the interim executive director at Johnson City Development Authority. “That is the Johnson City sign. We have sweatshirts and coffee mugs and someone tumblers and a couple of other things.”

Jones said it is important every year to consider the many local vendors when doing holiday shopping. Not only does it support the friends and neighbors who run the shops, but a large portion of the money stays within the local economy.

“The benefit of shopping local is that your dollars stay in our local community,” said Jones. “Sixty-seven cents of every dollar when you shop local stays in that community; it doesn’t go out of it.”

Local vendors offer unique, locally made items and experiences you can’t find anywhere else.

“We have our weekend passes on sale for Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion right now,” said Charlene Baker, at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. “Those are $90 until the end of the year, and they go up on January 1. So, it’s a perfect time to do that. Give someone a special experience and memories that last a lifetime.”

At the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, not only will you find items and experiences from the museum, but they also offer items made by local artisans.

“We have hundreds of handmade locally produced artisan items,” said Baker. “Everything from pottery, to handmade jewelry, artwork, beautiful glassware, things that are one of the kind. You can’t get that anywhere else.”

If you would like to order any of the Johnson City branded items from Downtown Johnson City you have until Wednesday, Dec. 20 to pick up items at their office located at 207 N. Boone St., Suite 23.

“You don’t have to worry about making sure that whatever you want to give for Christmas ends up on your front door,” said Cantler. “All you have to do is just drive downtown, walk to the business and get something and it’s ready to wrap.”

For more information on gifts, visiting the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, or purchasing festival tickets, click here.

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