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'Lights On Creston' shows off neighborhood businesses during holidays

The Creston Neighborhood in Grand Rapids was busy with activity Thursday night as people shopped small ahead of the holidays.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — As the clock struck 6 p.m. Thursday, Creston Brewery was popping -- both downstairs in its restaurant area and upstairs inside a space known as the Golden Age. That's where the brewery hosted an artisan market that saw hundreds of visitors, in what ended up being one of the highlights of a neighborhood-wide event.

"Tonight is 'Lights on Creston,' put on by the Creston Neighborhood Association and the Northern Quarter Corridor Improvement Authority," said Emma Nelson, who serves as a public relations and marketing associate at 8THIRTYFOUR Integrated Communications.

Local small businesses along the Plainfield Avenue corridor in the Creston neighborhood decorated their storefronts and welcomed in the community. Many businesses had drink specials, and a trolley transported people from store-to-store.

"It brings us together. You're seeing businesses. You're seeing neighbors, and the people who are living here and working here joining together, getting in the holiday spirit and having fun," Nelson said.

The event also served as an opportunity for people to see how the Creston neighborhood is transforming. Recently, developers have been working to buy and repurpose vacant land along Plainfield Avenue, and Nelson said she can feel the neighborhood bustle picking up.

"What I love about this neighborhood is that it's a hidden gem. I feel like there are a lot of parts of Grand Rapids that people already know about, but Creston is one of those that you don't hear about very often," she said.

"I think 'Lights On Creston' is all about amplifying what's here, showing the people that there's stuff going on, there's fun to be had, and we're ready for you."

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