BY LAUREN CARTER
The City of Blanchard is encouraging residents to keep it local during the holidays. The Shop Blanchard program began Nov. 1 and will continue until Dec. 15, the day of the annual Christmas celebration on Main Street.
"This is an annual event," said Laura Callaham, executive director of the Blanchard Chamber. "We changed it up a little bit last year and we've stuck to that this year."
The chamber isn't just encouraging citizens to get involved, it is challenging businesses as well.
"We encourage all businesses in Blanchard, not just businesses that are members of the council, to get involved," Callaham explained. "People can save receipts from anything like a Coke from Sonic, to gas, to a phone bill."
According to Callaham, all residents have to do is shop locally, save the receipt and write their name and phone number on the back to be entered into the big drawing.
On December 15, the City of Blanchard will host its annual Christmas parade at 4 p.m. Before the parade kicks off, the chamber will collect all receipts and will put them in a bag.
"You have to be present in order to receive a prize," Callaham said.
Over $2,000 was given away in prizes last year, according to Callaham. Several prizes are available this year including gift cards and even large gift baskets. Around 10 prizes are expected to be handed out to local participants.
The police department and fire department are both funded off of sales tax, Callaham explained. Even the improvements to roads and city sidewalks are funded through sales tax, and that is why it is important to keep that money local, Callaham said.
Sure, the hope is to get a lot of local participation during the holidays, but the true aim, Callaham explained, is to keep them shopping local all year round.