- Revolve Productions
- Reindeer will be on hand for photos at the inaugural Holly Jolly Shops.
Holiday shopping — it’s the best of times when it means finding the perfect gifts for your friends and family and the worst of times when it involves trudging around a crowded mall or scouring dozens of websites, looking fruitlessly for ideas.
This year’s inaugural Holly Jolly Shops feature a selection of goods from dozens of local vendors and make holiday shopping more fun and festive than ever. The two-day extravaganza with free admission will take place noon–7 p.m. Saturday and noon-5:30 p.m. Sunday on the concourse of Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive.
Produced by the mother-and-son event management team at Revolve Productions, Tobi and Justin Coleman, Holly Jolly Shops have been in the making for a while.
“We’ve been wanting to do something in the downtown area that was a super fun family thing, where we could be part of the Downtown in December events,” said Tobi Coleman.
Holly Jolly Shops are a part of Devon Energy’s Downtown in December series, which also includes tree lightings, Santa visits, ice skating and, of course, shopping. Revolve has partnered with several other local initiatives, such as Curbside Chronicle.
“They will be there, as well, selling their wrapping paper that was designed by local artists,” Coleman said of The Curbside Chronicle’s Wrap Up Homelessness program. The wrapping paper packages cost $10-$20, and all sales directly benefit homeless individuals in the Oklahoma City area.
Other initiatives will bring social consciousness to holiday shopping. ReFuse, Inc., a nonprofit that focuses on the intersections between upcycling, recycling and teaching and arts instruction, is hosting ornament-making sessions for kids. Another program, through Green Tree Project OKC, offers living Christmas tree rentals, which Coleman said could be especially practical for those living downtown or in apartments.
“They actually grow Christmas trees all year long, and you can rent them during the holiday season and then return them at the end of the holiday season,” Coleman said. “It’s sustainable.”
For those seeking even more Christmas magic, Holly Jolly Shops are bringing in two live reindeer 3-7 p.m. Saturday and noon-5:30 p.m. Sunday.
“Donner and Blitzen are the ones who are coming to spend a few days with us,” Coleman said.
While they’re officially on loan “from Santa,” the reindeer (caribou) will be traveling from Bristow to the event, where people can take photos of them, but not with them.
“I just thought it would be really cool for kids and alike to see some reindeer,” Coleman said.
Other festive touches include face-painting for children and a photo kiosk set up by the ballpark, featuring free photos that shoppers can email to themselves. In addition, Christmas movies will be playing all day on the ballpark’s closed-circuit TV system, giving shoppers and non-shoppers some holiday entertainment.
When they’re in need of refreshment, attendees can enjoy concessions, including caramel corn and adult hot chocolate, as well as other holiday-themed food and drink.
Holly Jolly Shops features 40 local vendors, including boutiques, wineries, clothiers, soap makers and handmade crafters.
“It will have everything from homemade crocheted items to Christmas ornaments and things for sale as well as homemade jellies and jams and stocking stuffers,” Coleman said.
Revolve Productions has been planning Holly Jolly Shops since early this year, according to Coleman. In addition to Revolve Production’s other holiday-themed events, such as Sleigh Bells Market, the Colemans’ wish to establish an event with a downtown presence meant looking for locations in the area. In August, Revolve met with the ballpark.
“We went and visited with them and found out how much it was going to cost us to rent the concourse, and we just proceeded after that. We thought that was a good place to have it,” Coleman said. “It was a really quick deal, as far as event planning goes.”
According to Coleman, the ballpark’s concourse area is covered and will have heaters, providing comfort for shoppers. The concourse will be decorated for the event, as well.
Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark will also be selling merchandise and season tickets.
Once a location had been established, Revolve began the process of reaching out to potential vendors who had previously worked at their events or those whose wares would do well in a holiday shopping context. After reaching out to these vendors, Revolve opened up the event to the public.
“Since it’s been open to the public, probably 40 percent of our vendors are not people that we sought out, but people that ended up becoming vendors at the event and bringing some unique items,” Coleman said.
Although this is the debut year for Holly Jolly Shops, Coleman said goals for next year’s event have already been set.
“This year, we’ll fill up half of the concourse, and next year, hopefully, the full concourse,” she said.
In addition to doubling the event in size for next year, Coleman said Revolve Productions hopes also to add new layers to Holly Jolly Shops each year in order to make it even better.
“It ought to be a really fun, festive event,” Coleman said. “There’s plenty to do, plenty to see.”