Our plan was to meet at Coney Island, a restaurant that has been downtown for almost 100 years. The prices are amazing, and it's possible to have a meal for well under $10, including tip. I had a coney dog, a bag of chips and a little eight ounce bottle of Coke (they're so cute) for less than $4. The place has fun signs, like, "In 1897 in this spot, nothing happened here."
Well, the line was out the door. It was 4:30 p.m., and the place has always been a popular spot. With several thousand people gathered downtown, it makes total sense that it would be crowded. After about a half hour wait, we did get a place at the counter (they have wooden stools). We ate and chatted and I took a few pictures. It was too crowded for Heidi to go around the place and take pictures, because every single table was full.
It seemed bitterly cold, but we ventured out onto Main Street to see the first lighting of the Aunt Millie's bread building. We then walked east to see Santa and his reindeer lit. The lighting display has been around for a long time. It used to be hung from a department store called Wolf and Dessauer's. The store went out of business a long time ago, but the lighting display lives on.
We then turned a corner and followed the crowd down the street to the Wells Fargo building, and another lighting ceremony.
It was nice to see so many people downtown, and nice to see food and drink vendors along the sidewalk. It seemed very big city, and there were other things going on as well. Hollypop was a pop-up boutique highlighting small local businesses. An office space was open, and each individual office had a business located in it. I guess it was in it's second year, but I'd never heard of it. It was a great idea, however, as to get people downtown, they also need to have retail as well. It was a novelty to be downtown on a Wednesday night and see things to buy.
And this is a picture of "Mad" Anthony Wayne (the guy the city is named after) in front of the Christmas tree in Freimann Square.
Heidi has to work early in the morning and she was getting tired and left, but I went back to Hollypop and made a short video.
It was a nice way to spend an evening, and it was nice to see my hometown downtown area lit up and all those people walking around.
On Black Friday, I went back downtown and got some additional pictures, but I also drove by the University of Saint Francis and got this picture of the Bass Mansion, which used to be the school's library. It's a pretty awesome building on the inside too.