GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)?Hundreds of Grand Rapids businesses stayed open late Thursday night to encourage visitors to buy local.

Shoppers enjoyed store freebies and free bus rides as part of this year's Uptown Holiday Shop Hop. A popular spot was the newly-remodeled Fulton Street Farmers Market, where more than 50 vendors sold their wares.

"It's a fun little way to come down and meet people locally, trade with other vendors and be a part of something local," said artist Jessica Doner.

The Blue Door was one of the first businesses to start the Shop Hop. Its owner says it is the biggest sales night for local businesses, attracting thousands of shoppers.

"It's just been a tremendous boom for the whole Uptown area, " said Blue Door owner Kim Needham.

The Shop Hop started 11 years ago on East Fulton Street. It has since grown to include the Wealthy Street, East Hills and Eastown neighborhoods.