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The light poles in the downtown area of Muscatine are wrapped with greens and lights for the coming holiday season. This Sunday the season will be kicked off with the annual Downtown Open House from noon to 4 p.m. 

All around downtown Muscatine poles are decorated with evergreen and Christmas lights as the holiday season quickly approaches, but one tradition remains to kick off the holiday season and its coming this weekend.

On Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., 28 participating businesses will offer refreshments, entertainment, specials and hospitality as part of the annual Downtown Muscatine Holiday Open House. Traditionally on the Sunday two weeks prior to Thanksgiving, businesses remain open and offer a warm start to the holiday shopping season. This year several new businesses — including Flipped Out Furniture — join the list of merchants with their doors open.

“Some businesses will remain open on Sundays throughout the holiday season,” said Jodi Hansen, director of the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and organizer of the open house.

Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and CEO Greg Jenkins said the event is the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. He said the event has been going on at least 25 years. He said it’s a good chance for people to get an early start on their holiday shopping and to support area businesses.

“I like coming down to the open house,” he said. “Everyone is in a really good mood, and there are a lot of little things going on at all the shops.”

He commented if people don’t support businesses in the community, those businesses would go away. He said the more people shop locally, the more businesses in the area would grow.

Hansen is hoping for a large turnout this year so people can check out the local businesses. She commented the temperature Sunday is supposed to be in the 40s.

For updates of the businesses that will be participating in the event, go online to http://downtownmuscatine.com/event/holiday-open-house-2/.

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