Greenville holiday show hopes to attract 12,000 visitors

Businesses across the east are trying to make up for losses from both the pandemic and inflation. What better time to do that than the holiday season?

The Down East Holiday Show in Greenville just kicked off their first night at 5 p.m. WITN stopped by this morning to talk to business owners about how recent years have affected their bottom line and how they hope this weekend helps.

“Boutique clothing, accessories, jewelry,” said Jennifer Vogt, listing the things shoppers can find at the show. “Christmas ornaments, Christmas décor, We have dog treats.”

There’s no shortage of things you can find. Kicking off Thursday, it gives shoppers a chance to stock up on holiday gifts before the rush.

“It’s definitely all about local businesses,” said Vogt.

With a goal of 12,000 visitors to the Greenville Convention Center, it’s also a chance for businesses like The Style Pallet boutique, to get their name out there. “I feel like shows like this, especially because I’m not from Greenville I’m from Edenton,” owner Olivia Layton said. “It helps me meet more people that I’ve never met before.”

The droves of shoppers are welcome news for businesses hit by record-high inflation and the pandemic slump – some, fighting to keep things affordable. “We try to keep it as low as we can so people can enjoy our product,” said Pam Barrow, part owner of Barrow’s Pecans.

It’s a tough balance, though, when supplies are harder to get, and for some, sales are down. “We’ve had a very difficult time trying to get enough merchandise to have our shows,” Sew Whut Embroidery owner Ricky Best said. “Craft fairs are back, but not like they were before. We didn’t get a couple craft fairs, and people just haven’t started spending like they were before.”

While the holiday show is just starting, optimism is the name of the game. “Hopefully it’ll help people that have kindof suffered a little bit with inflation the way it has been after the pandemic, so we’re hoping this will be a good start for everybody,” said Vogt.

Tickets sold for the show go toward scholarships through the Pitt Community College Foundation. Learn more about pricing and the timing and dates of the show here.

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