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Rockford leads West Michigan into holiday season

8:43 AM, Nov 14, 2012   |    comments
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ROCKFORD, Mich. (WZZM) - The deer hunters aren't even in the woods yet, Thanksgiving is still more than a week away, but it's already the holiday shopping season in Rockford.

"There isn't a better time than now to start the holiday season," says Rockford mayor Brien Dews.

At a ceremony Tuesday night the high school choir sang carols and the city turned on holiday lights to start the season.  Some think it's too early.

"It's nice to think about Christmas, but I kind of wish it was a little later, maybe after Thanksgiving," says Holly Marckini.

"I'd like to get through Thanksgiving first," agrees Shelly Schimmel. "I love Thanksgiving."

Some stores in Rockford didn't wait for the kick off ceremony.  They have already started the holiday shopping season.

"We had our open house November 1st," laughs Victoria Merlinton, owner of The Barn. "We are ready. We've been going strong. It's never too soon for Christmas."

Tuesday night's event is the start of a 3-day celebration of the holiday season in Rockford.

"I look forward to this every year," says Nancy Simonis. "It gets me in the mood for the Christmas season."

Shops are staying open late and offering customers' treats Wednesday and Thursday.

"It brings families together and starts a tradition every year," says Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jeannie Gregory. "People can get a feel for downtown shopping, check out all the shops and celebrate the holidays."

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