Columbus, OH

Parts of North High Street to close in Short North for annual Holiday Hop Saturday

The Lantern
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The Short North Arts District will turn into a winter wonderland for the 2023 Short North Holiday Hop on Saturday. Credit: Courtesy of Columbus Underground

This year’s Holiday Hop will render portions of North High Street a pedestrian-only winter wonderland for the first time.

The 39th annual Short North Holiday Hop will take place Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and feature artwork, locally crafted items and more, Short North Alliance Executive Director Betsy Pandora said. This event is the biggest gallery hop of the year and is closing the area between Russell Street and West Second Avenue to drivers as a result, she added.

“We are excited to transform one of the busiest streets in Columbus into an immersive and festive atmosphere,” Pandora said. “We are lucky to have nearly 100 creative and diverse street market vendors as well this year.”

Pandora said this year’s event is in partnership with Matchmakers Market, a pop-up market experience. She said this collaboration, in addition to the participation of over 300 local brick-and-mortar businesses, has allowed for the street closure to happen.

“Holiday hoppers can explore the Short North Arts District beneath the iconic arches for an array of holiday experiences,” Pandora said. “Throughout the day there will be visits from Santa, ice carving, public sing-along and an amazing fashion parade.”

Debbie Briner, spokesperson for the City of Columbus Department of Public Service, said the department is excited to support the Holiday Hop traffic closure for pedestrian-only activity and will be at the event to promote a safe and connected transportation network.

“We encourage folks coming to the event to consider walking, biking or using public transit and leave their car at home,” Briner said. “This event also provides an opportunity for residents to put their input in the Bike Plus planning process which will help the city shape better opportunities for active transportation and multimodal travel.”

Ariana Lindenfelser, founder and host of Matchmakers Market, said the business is focused on uplifting local vendors and encouraging the Columbus community to shop small when possible.

“This High Street market will be the go-to spot for shopping locally this holiday,” Lindenfelser said. “All of the vendors at this year’s event have been hand-selected to create a diverse and unique market experience to pair with the brick-and-mortar businesses in the area.”

Marketgoers will find several women-owned and local businesses including Prospect Jam, Wilde Home Decor and Good Vibes Hive, Lindenfelser said.

“There are also some vendors popping up for the first time like Warmly Cookies, and who doesn’t love a nice warm cookie on a cold day?” Lindenfelser said. “Snot Fair Vintage is popping up with some of the best true vintage clothing in the city.”

Pandora said all visitors will receive an opportunity to vote on the best storefront window while traversing the event, but there is more to do this winter than just the one-day gallery hop, including the Short North Arts District Holiday Trail, which will be open until Dec. 31.

“This friendly competition can help small businesses win up to $500, which can be a significant amount of money for them,” Pandora said. “Throughout the holiday season, shoppers have the opportunity to receive a free hot beverage from Northstar Cafe or Roaming Goat Coffee by participating in various activities.”

Pandora said the Holiday Hop offers something for everyone, children included.

“If you’re a kid, you may not appreciate all the art and businesses that you walk through,” Pandora said. “New this year, children under 12 are invited to embark on the Elf Trail and collect stickers for finding Elf on the Shelf dolls or by shopping at select businesses with kid-friendly items around the district.”

More information about the 2023 Holiday Hop and other Short North winter activities can be found on the Short North website .

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