By Brett DeNeve:
When I first came to Buffalo, I found myself exited to create some quality holiday memories in a city where people do whatever it takes to make the merry season eventful. This year, Shea’s Fourth annual “Shea’s, Shopping, Soiree” just may end up on this year’s shopping list. Presented by Shea’s Encore Events and taking place at, you guessed it, Shea’s Performing Arts Center at 646 Main St., an eclectic group of local artisans and vendors will be showcasing and selling their merchandise on Thursday, November 21st.
“Shea’s, Shopping, Soiree” will run from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., encompassing jewelry, purses, mugs, ornaments, wreaths and tons more through their guest list of over 55 different local artisans and vendors.
The list includes: Alpaca Play Pen, LLC, Annie Mags, Blum’s Swimwear & Intimate Apparel, Bob Gregg Art, Boxer Ridge Homemade Delights, Buffalo Authors’ Table, Buffalo Cookie Company, Buffalo Heritage Publishing, Buffalo History Buff, Buttermints, Canisius Enactus, Creekside Gourmet, D’Avolio Olive Oils & Vinegars, daVoria Jewelry, Dazzlewear, Diana Storm Designs, Donna’s Jams and Jellies, Essential Elements, Firefly, Funky Furnishings, Global Villages, Gourmet Creations By Tami, Illusions 3rd Eye Productions, J.E.R.K. Creations, Kissed by the Sun, Le Sorelle Biscotti, Lucy Noelle Jewelry Designs LLC, Mary’s Lakeside Designs, Oh Darling Hair Bows, Painting by Tina, Pearls, Crystals & More, Red Clover Soap, Rich’s Catering & Special Events, Road Kiln, Sasmita Batik Indonesia, Scentsy Wickless Candles, Sinfully Unique, Stuffed Chocolate, Ltd., Sugarpipes, Tani Col Handbags, Tastefully Simple, The Jewel Box, The Pampered Chef, Thirty One Gifts, Victoria’s Designs, Zenjoy and many more!
Tickets to attend this massive gathering are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. You can purchase them at Ticketmaster.com or at Shea’s Ticket Office, located at 650 Main St. Their hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and during shows through intermission. Aside from there being complimentary food and a cash bar, rumored to be carrying some “specialty drinks” for the evening, this event falls just in time for holiday shopping. All proceeds will benefit Shea’s Restoration and Education Programs.
Anyone who recalls the glory days of Downtown window shopping will want to attend this very special event. While I am too young to recall those days of old, I did find myself pondering the historic shopping district after I stepped off the metro at Church St. a few days ago. Having arrived a few minutes early to the area for an appointment, I couldn’t help but feel my stomach begin to grumble. To my rescue, on the corner of Church and Main, stood a hot dog vendor by the name of Mike; he seemed almost surprised as I began to approach him.
“Not too busy today?” I asked.
“Slow in the mornings, it’ll pick up soon for lunch though. Business as usual,” he replied with a smile.
I had asked him if, being in such a district, he felt the recent government shutdown had any influence on the lack of traffic. He laughed lightly and said, “The months before that occurred were just the same around here.”
The real contrast of foot traffic by that end of Main St., he believes, can been seen many years ago when compared to now.
“I remember this street thirty years ago; packed. During the holidays there were so many feet you couldn’t see the sidewalk. The mall was full of stores and now has close to none. Once that church bell (he glanced over his shoulder at St. Paul’s Cathedral) rang 12 noon, you could turn around twice and there was a line for hot dogs down to Pearl St. It’s just not the same.”
I may have not been around to experience what downtown Buffalo holiday shopping season was like, but this event, packed wall to wall with countless local artisans and vendors, just might be able to give me an idea.