McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

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Seasonal shoppes

McHenry Riverwalk Shoppes celebrate their first holiday season as downtown McHenry turns into a winter wonderland
Mackenzie Sroka
McHenry Riverwalk District is decorated and prepared to host many events for the holiday season.

Tinsel shines off the glistening Christmas lights on the Riverwalk, people walk around the shops with hot cocoa in their hands, children and adults alike glide across the ice rink. There is plenty to do for everyone in and around downtown McHenry.

After much collaboration with MCHS’s students and staff, the McHenry Riverwalk Shoppes were built in only three months and opened in July of 2023. Miller Point Park improvements were also made in September of the same year.

Now, as the snow begins to fall and the holidays draw near, The Riverwalk Shoppes have turned into a festive downtown area in their own unique way. With all the decorations and lighting, shops are marketing and promoting their merchandise in conjunction with special holiday events, making way for many activities to get into the holiday spirit.

“Each shoppe, in its own unique way, has embraced the season wholeheartedly,” said Doug Martin, an MCHS senior and Director of Economic Development. “With all the decorations and lighting the shoppes are marketing and promoting their merchandise with special holiday events and happenings in the Riverwalk District. Each shoppe plays off the holiday theme.”

With the addition of the holiday markets, food trucks, and ice skating rink more people have been drawn to the area and visiting the shops.

“The Christmas season has been keeping us busy. We are returning to the same amount of foot traffic as we saw during the busy summer months,” comments one of the shops, The Mad Soyentist. “There was a slight decline in September, October and early November as everyone went back to school, but now that the holidays are upon us things have picked back up.”

Holiday Markets and food trucks come to the shops on multiple weekends, coordinated by the McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce. Having these additions really has increased traffic down in the Riverwalk District.

“Each shoppe has also decorated in theme with their business and the whole place looks very festive,” adds one of the shops, The Bumble Bread Co. “The holiday markets have been a hit as well, packed with shoppers every Saturday. More events mean more foot traffic, customers and sales, and people have been coming out every weekend even in the cold. Overall the holiday season has been going very well at the shops!”

Additionally, Miller Point has the Riverwalk, ice skating rink, the park, and with a bathroom structure more individuals are coming downtown to enjoy the amenities and stay for longer periods of time which only benefits the shoppes

The McHenry downtown has truly turned into a winter wonderland with many things to do and look at as the holiday season draws near.

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