Mayor David Roberts and City of Hoboken, the Chamber of Commerce and the Hoboken Reporter will be presenting "Hoboken for the Holidays," a series of special seasonal events geared toward putting Hoboken residents in the holiday sprit and supporting local businesses and merchants.
The festivities begin with Hoboken's ninth annual holiday crafts fair. Set for Dec. 6 and Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the event will include more than 50 local craftspeople at City Hall on Washington Street. They will feature a variety of unique gift items for that special someone on a holiday list, such as candles, bath soaps, body lotions, silk scarves, pottery, stained glass, fused glass, jewelry, quilts, photography, sauces and marinades by Hoboken Eddie, baby items, wine bottles, cheese boards, metal sculptures, folk art, hand-knits, mosaics and paintings.
"This is your chance to buy products directly from the artist and merchant," said Geri Fallo, Hoboken's cultural affairs coordinator.
The sale will also feature gourmet coffees and teas, hot apple cider, pastries, cookies, bagels, muffins, seasonal fresh fruits and sandwiches from Landmark Coffee in Hoboken.
In addition, there will be books from local authors.
On Sunday, Dec. 7, the city has teamed up with the Friends of the Library, who sponsoring the Hoboken Author's Book Sale and Book Signing each year. The event will be held at the Shannon Lounge at 106 First St., across from City Hall. Local authors like Al Sullivan and Caren Lissner from the Hudson Reporter will greet the locals and share literary stories with them about their published books.
"We want the community to discover many of the talented writers who live here," Fallo said.
A few days following the crafts fair, city residents can gather on Dec. 9 at 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the City Hall conference room to meet the jolly ol' fellow, Santa Claus. He will be joined by Elvis the Elf and the Victorian Holiday Carolers. After meeting and greeting Santa, the city will host its holiday tree lighting at 6 p.m. in front of City Hall.
"I'm gonna help light the tree, cajole you all to carol, and we'll have all kinds of fun," said Elvis the Elf. "This city offers so much for children, and I can't wait to see all the mile-square city kids."
Also at the tree lighting, the winners of the Hoboken Merchant Window Decorating Contest Winners will be announced.
There will be live music while Santa parades throughout the downtown area on Washington Street. During the festivities, several merchants in town will be offering shopping incentives.
The merchants participating include: Oh Cappizi, Aaraa, Battaglia's Home Furnishing, Down to Earth, Empire Coffee, The Candle Shop, Vito's Italian Deli, Mulligans, First Platinum Realty, Bellie and Katrina, Jordan's Homemade Frozen Desserts, Arthur's Tavern, Big Fun, United Decorating Co., Inc., The Tux Shop, Wee Beasties Bootery, Lucy's, Ganache, Robert De Ruggiero, Inc., Anastasia's Accessories, Imago Beauty Group and Pauline's Chocolate. They will be selling their wares from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
"If you don't see exactly what you want, place a special order, or just come and browse," Fallo said.
To make the entire holiday shopping season convenient and exciting for Hobokenites and area residents, the Hoboken Chamber of Commerce will offer four hours of free parking with vouchers every Saturday and Sunday from Nov. 29 through Dec. 21 between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hoboken Utility Parking Garage B at Second Street between Hudson and River streets.
In addition to the free parking, there will be a free shopper shuttle throughout Washington Street every weekend leading up to Christmas. Shoppers can catch the shuttle between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Hoboken Utility parking garages at Hudson Street between Second and Third streets and the Midtown Garage on the corner of Fourth and Clinton streets. Vouchers for the free parking will be available at any of the participating merchants listed above. For a complete list, visit www.hobokennj.com.
A cavalcade of local musicians will be celebrating the holiday spirit at the Shannon Lounge on Dec. 12 beginning at 9 p.m. Tickets for the show are $5, and proceeds will benefit the Hoboken Homeless Shelter on 300 Bloomfield St. Attendees are also encouraged to bring canned goods for the shelter.
The lineup includes MaryAnn Farley, The Hangdogs, The Big Galoots, The Demolition String Band, Eugene, High Speed Chase, Carla Butler, Jim Testa, AJ Azzarto and Tom Vincent.
It will be held in the back room of the Shannon, downtown Hoboken's newest venue for live music.
City Hall is located at 94 Washington St. For information, call (201) 420-2207 or visit www.hobokennj.org.