Shoppers who lined up at Sears on Thanksgiving and braved Walmart before dawn on Black Friday might want a change of pace, city officials are hoping.
With the Miracle on Main Streets campaign, the city hopes to encourage holiday shopping in Baltimore's historic neighborhoods, at small shops lining the business districts.
The campaign's motto: "Do it all without the mall."
Participating neighborhoods, all part of the city's Main Streets program, include Belair-Edison, Brooklyn, East Monument Street, Federal Hill, Fell's Point, Hamilton-Lauraville, Highlandtown, Pennsylvania Avenue, Pigtown and Waverly.
All are touting their unique shops and plan to offer free holiday festivities and special events and promotions. And on thefirst four weekends in December, parking is free. Activities will include tree lightings, concerts, parades and Santa visits.
Miracle on Main Streets will kick off with an event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the the new Peabody Heights Brewery in Waverly, at 401 E. 30th Street. Expect a fashion show, holiday music and food from local restaurants.
The Main Streets program, part of the Baltimore Development Corp., is based on a model developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation's National Main Street Center.