SALEM, Va.—It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas -- especially in Salem! The annual holiday parade and tree lighting happened Friday night, but businesses are still cashing in from the holiday rush.
Streets were packed for the annual Christmas tradition Friday. With that excitement, comes the urge to spend big and businesses we spoke to are happy about that.
Tashay Frey is a vendor who sells novelty items all over town, especially during large events like Salem's Christmas Parade. She says events like these really make a difference. "More business, you know, the more business we get, the more stuff we sell," Frey told us. "Even on rough nights, we still make it through."
Just up the street from Frey sits Mill Mountain Coffee, a favorite that could barely keep up with the droves of parade spectators waiting in line for a hot cup of joe or a warm specialty drink.
"It definitely boosts our sales and also it brings in unfamiliar people who are not familiar with our coffee shop too," Molly Kauffman, the manager of Mill Mountain Coffee in Salem.
Not only that, but the holiday season seems to bring out the Santa in everyone, a yuletide blessing for many smaller shops who need a boost. "People come in, they get retail items, they're going out of town and they want to share part of their community with their family," Kauffmann explains.
And not even the Grinch could resist a hot slice of homemade pizza from Frank's Pizza on main street. So to deal with the mob of hungry spectators, management came prepared. "We normally don't have a three hour, four hour rush. So tonight we have more servers on, we've got everybody working as fast as they can," said Melanie Saunders, manager of Frank's Pizza.
Working fast and thankful for a little extra business under the tree.