BRISTOL, Tenn./Va. - It was a crowded night in downtown Bristol; people were walking the streets, shopping, and enjoying warm beverages.
Although Thanksgiving is still a few days away, downtown Bristol is gearing up for the next big holiday -- Christmas.
The businesses are kicking off the holiday season with a special open house. Many stores extended their hours to help gift-givers get a head start on holiday shopping.
Many customers said they were happy, but were left wanting more. One shopper said, "I wish they'd do it a lot more. I think this is good tonight. There are a lot of people out so I think it would be good."
And for many, the hustle and bustle of shopping at the open house is something they look forward to year after year. "This is kind of a tradition with us we come out and just look around, and it gets you in the spirit of the holidays, so it is wonderful," said another downtown shopper.
And while some people went store to store to check gifts off their lists, others simply came to hand Santa their list.
Many small businesses around the Tri-Cities will also be taking part in "Small Business Saturday." That's the day after Black Friday and it's a chance for shoppers to show their support for local establishments by shopping at area small businesses.