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Jamaica Center BID launches seasonal surprises to enliven Jamaica Avenue this Saturday and next

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Volunteers from the Home Depot decorated downtown Jamaica businesses for the holidays, and now the Jamaica Center BID is launching two Saturdays full of events to bring shoppers back to the commercial corridor. (Photo courtesy of Jamaica Center BID)

In recent weeks, the Jamaica Center BID and Home Depot teamed up to decorate 13 small business storefronts along the Jamaica Avenue corridor.

Volunteers from the Home Depot, located at 92-30 168th St., came armed with strings of holiday lights, garlands of greenery, ribbons and wreaths and joined the BID team to visit Pretty Woman, MA Perfume, Blue Angels Bridal, Make Me Over Beauty Bar, European Wax Center, Don’t Panic, DJ Electronics, Hook & Reel Cajun Seafood & Bar, M&M Fashion and Rincon Salvadoreno.

The teams even filled an unsightly tree pit with a temporary holiday tree, which they plan on replacing with a live tree in collaboration with The Horticultural Society of New York with Councilman James Gennaro’s office.

Photo courtesy of Jamaica Center BID

Now that the commercial area is festooned for the holidays, the Jamaica Center BID has kicked off its ‘Tis the Season holiday shopping promotion designed to entice shoppers during the next two Saturdays between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The events will include free outdoor entertainment, in-store discounts and “surprise goodies and giveaways” throughout the downtown Jamaica corridor.

There will be a drop-off location at Parsons Public Space, at Parsons and Jamaica Avenue, where children can submit their letters to Santa, to be safely delivered to the North Pole by the NYPD; character photos with “Jammy the Snowman” and his trusty friend Mr. Penguin; free hot chocolate (while supplies last) at the new Avenue NYC Café located in the Jamaica Market at 90-40 160th St.; discounts ranging from 10% to 20% at 13 retailers and restaurants; free giveaways distributed by volunteers along the avenue; and hands-on arts and crafts activities presented by local artist Shanice Figeroux and the Home Depot.

“Last year was a terrible year for business, and consumers became more oriented than ever towards shopping online due to the pandemic,” Jamaica Center BID Executive Director Jennifer Furioli said. “This year we wanted to do something special to encourage our customers to return to holiday shopping in our local downtown Jamaica, re-engage with their neighbors and support the local economy.”

King Manor Museum, Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning and the Edge School of the Arts will host drop-in activities on both Saturdays.

On Saturday, Dec. 4, there will be live music by the Underground Horns throughout the business district from 1 to 3 p.m.

On Saturday, Dec. 11, there will be magic demonstrations by Rogue the Magician from 2 to 4 p.m. and live music by David Sincere from noon to 3:30 p.m. in front of the Chase Building, located at 161-10 Jamaica Ave.

A ribbon-cutting to celebrate the re-installation of the historic landmarked Jamaica street clock, which was repaired and renovated this year in a joint project by Greater Jamaica Development Corporation and the Jamaica Center BID with funding from Councilman I. Daneek Miller and the NYC Department of Small Business Services at the corner of Union Hall and Jamaica Avenue starting at noon.

“A seasonal celebration for all, but a safe one that’s spread out and mostly outdoors allowing for social distancing, seemed like the right way to go,” Furioli said. “We decided to amplify existing promotions and events that our friends at JCAL, King Manor and Cultural Collaborative were already doing while adding a little seasonal panache of our own through additional giveaways and pop-up al fresco sidewalk entertainment.”

‘Tis the Season was made possible by a business support grant from the JFK International Air Terminal. If successful, it is something the BID hopes to repeat and grow in the future.

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