The First NoMel set for Friday
(Sung to the tune of "The First Noel")
The First NoMel, the merchants did say,
was to bring in more business to the North of Main.
And to kick off the holidays right,
they will throw a party ’till 6 at night.
NoMel, NoMel. NoMel, NoMel.
Santa will come on a bicycle.
The First NoMel, an annual event put on by the North of Main Business Alliance (also known as NoMa), will be held Nov. 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. throughout the NoMa district with headquarters located at the No Place Like Home/Whimsy parking lot at 1685 Bonanza Drive.
"In every major city in the United States the day after Thanksgiving is the largest holiday shopping event of the year," said Marion Boland of No Place Like Home. "It’s the kickoff to the holiday season. That’s when all the decorations are illuminated, like at Rockefeller Plaza, and we’re going to do the same thing in Park City."
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. guests can pick up a game card at participating stores in the NoMa district and receive one stamp for each shop they visit (no purchase necessary). Once eight stamps are collected, the card may be entered into a drawing at the event headquarters, with prizes donated by various NoMa businesses. Prizes include a season pass from Park City Mountain Resort, a cross-country track season pass from White Pine Touring and a $250 certificate to No Place Like Home.
From 3 to 5 p.m., live bands, including the Sean Regan Trio and Park City Singers, will play music at event headquarters. There will also be vendors providing food, such as Spencer’s Smokin Grill, Wasatch Bagel Café, Anaya’s Market and others.
The drawing will take place at 5 p.m., with the First NoMel tree lighting taking place at 6. Santa will also make an appearance, but not on his traditional sleigh; this time it will be leg power, not reindeer power, making Santa move as he rides his bicycle.
"We’re handing out game cards and stamping them at our store, and we’ll probably do hot chocolate," Boland said. "We also donated some vintage skis and snowshoes."
"It’s a great event because it shows what a great walkable neighborhood we have," she continued. "You can have lunch at Windy Ridge, then pop into FairWeather to pick up some groceries, go to Julie Nester Gallery to look at some great art, go into Right at Home and check out our fabulous Christmas decorations and then work your way down to the gathering at No Place Like Home and Whimsy where there will be music and festivities."
Julie Nester participated last year and said the event is worthwhile because it helps bring in the holiday spirit and introduces the NoMa shopping district to people who otherwise might not have known it existed.
"Last year we were one of the retail places that participated in the game card where people walked around and stamped," she said. "The experience was great for me. Our business has only been open for two years so there are a lot of people who came in who didn’t even know we existed. It brought in a lot of people who didn’t know where we were just because they were exploring."
"It’s really fun getting the holidays started, too. Santa comes down Bonanza on a bike and my kids thought that was the best thing ever. It’s just really festive."
Mark Spencer plans to set up along the street near No Place Like Home to sell and sample his barbecue. He said he will have sample pork and chicken sandwiches so people can try more than one.
"It’s something to look forward to," he said. "How else are you going to see Santa ride down Bonanza on a bike with a police escort? There’s good food, good music, good beverages. We have the best BBQ in Park City and it will be there. We’re happy to be a part of the NoMa District, the heart of Park City."
Spencer said that although the event isn’t necessarily profitable, it’s still rewarding. He said the raffle and game cards bring people into the door, "and once they get in the door and smell the barbecue, that’s all it takes."
Emily Elliot, the only NoMa board member who does not own a store in the district, said that after the success of the event last year, having it again was a no-brainer.
"Last year there were so many people walking around the district, it was amazing," she said. "I’ve never seen so many people walking around the area. It’s such a fun party and it’s a way for people to visit the NoMa district, realize that there are several merchants that have fabulous holiday shopping all close by and that the area is alive and growing."
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