Holiday magic in the era of COVID? Arcata Main Street has plans

Dear Delightful Downtown Arcata,

Well, our team was exhilarated and exhausted by our Halloween Spooky Plaza Car Parade and we thank everyone who volunteered (especially Arcata Sunrise Rotary and Rotary Interact, Kinetic Universe, Molly Steele of Arcata Chamber of Commerce, Arcata City Council candidates Stacy Atkins-Salazaar, Paul Pitino, Nick Matthews, and lots of friends and family), our Sponsors (Danco, Hensel’s ACE Hardware, Umpqua Bank, and Eco Groovy Deals along with Threadbare Dancewear, Moonrise Herbs, and North Coast Co-op), and all those who brought joy to little people with Trick or Treat. 

We wanted one really spectacular thing happen this year and I think we did it! Great album by Matt Filar on Facebook.

Season of Wonder and Light

Of course things are modified, but we would love to encourage happy downtown shoppers and are planning several activities. We are currently getting our Arcata City permits and Humboldt County event approvals. Here are highlights.

1. Holiday Passport Shopping Spree, Nov. 28 to Dec. 20 (let us know by Nov. 13 if you want to participate).

2. Small Business Saturday, Nov. 28 (an all day celebration with no gathering/food/beverages).

3. Arts! Arcata is back, Fridays, Nov. 13 and Dec. 11.

Again, no food or beverages, no serenading shoppers, but let’s encourage after-hours shopping on the second Friday again.

Let us know ASAP (really!) if you want to participate, especially for Nov. 13 and we’ll get it in the media. 

4. Sunday Art Market, Six Sundays, Nov. 15 through Dec. 20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Eighth Street between G and H streets.

Open to artists, crafters, and even stores! A fun way to do a pop-up boutique. You can sign up for one week for $25 or all six for $120 (includes 2020 AMS membership!). Here’s the sign-up form: 

5. Spare Change for Arcata House Partnership, Nov. 28 through Dec. 20.

Let us know if you’d like a jar for your countertop to support this organization bringing HOPE to local families experiencing homelessness in our community. 

6. Winter Wonderland, Friday, Dec. 18 (a magical walk-through/walk around event... more info TBA)

7. Window Decorating Contest: confirm participation by Dec. 6, Winners on Dec. 20. 

Last but not least, it feels like we need to end 2020 with a celebration of Hope, Joy, and Creative Problem Solving! 

Many might choose to recycle decorations and looks from past years, which is fine! 

This year the theme is HOPE and a little birdie told us Jacoby’s Storehouse tree will feature candy, Nutcrackers, snowflakes and will be red gold and silver with sparkles and snowflakes. 

One more thing

We’ll be decorating the Plaza with pretty lights Thursday evening, Nov. 12 and Friday, Nov. 13. Want to help? Let us know! COVID-safe outside fun 🙂

Organizations and community groups welcome too. Lots of glory!

Have a splendid day,


P.S. We need some Arcata businesses to create Choose Humboldt PSAs. I’m happy to help you make one! Easy and fun. 

Also, please add the #choosehumboldt and #shoparcata and consider representing yourself on the Humboldt General Store,, where 1500-plus members are there to celebrate your business and announce your Holiday Shopping specials! 

It’s also super exciting seeing a movie crew set up downtown, construction starting in Big Blue Cafe, Mikki Moves J&J Plaza all settled into the Jacoby Storehouse, and Humboldt Clothing Company will be coming to the Plaza soon. 

The Thing Arcata is filling the former Arcata Stationers space with art and creativity and Outer Space Arcata is delighted to bring art to empty storefront windows. 

And I had a LOT of fun painting the former Daisy Dry Goods window... art will be filling that window soon as well!

Important information

• Holiday Passport begins ​Nov. 28 and ends Dec. 20.

• Offer the Holiday Shopping Spree Passport to each customer who spends at least $25 in your store. They can enter each time they shop at your business.

• The more you suggest the Passports, the more you are encouraging shoppers to stay in the Downtown.

• Anyone can enter if they shop or not. If someone asks for a passport, please allow them to enter. 

• AMS will resupply Passports. You can use paper or index cards if you run out.

Please call AMS if you notice your supply is running low so we can get more passports to you ASAP, (707) 822-4500.


1. Decorate jar, box, or basket to hold completed Passports

2. Stamp on top of your logo on the Passport each time a customer spends at least $25 at your business. We do not provide stamps. You may purchase one at The Art Center!

3. Have customers fill out the top of Passport with their contact information, tear the top off, and put in your Passport receptacle. Customers can enter each time they shop in your business.

4. Call or text Arcata Main Street at 822-4500 when you are low on Passports and we will bring you more. If you run out of Passports, please have customers make their entry on a piece of paper or index card and we will transfer to a passport as soon as possible. Volunteers from AMS will come in weekly to collect Passports.

5. The contest ends Sunday, Dec. 20. We will have a drawing at 4 p.m. on the Plaza at the final Sunday Art Market.

6. Winners can use their Shopping Spree Gift Certificates for Holiday Shopping or later if they wish. Gift certificates legally do not expire.

7. When winners come into your business to use their Shopping Spree Gift Certificate, send the receipt to AMS and we will reimburse you for the amount of their purchase.



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