Chamber, retailers prep for holiday with Shop Oxford Open House

Published 1:56 pm Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Shop Oxford brings the holidays closer to Oxford with the Shop Oxford Holiday Open House presented by the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce on Sunday, Nov. 7, at the downtown Square from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

As the air turns colder and the leaves start changing color, now is the perfect time for the LOU community to get started on their holiday shopping even earlier this year. Shop Oxford began 20 years ago to encourage locals to support local businesses by shopping at home.

The chamber invites the public out to the downtown Square to join in the special holiday shopping hours, holiday gift ideas galore, kids holiday crafts, special giveaways, a grand holiday gift basket raffle, holiday music, hot chocolate, cookies, and so much more.

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“It is so important to support businesses in Oxford so we can continue to have a thriving community,” said Amanda Hyneman, owner of Neilson’s. Neilson’s was established in 1839 which makes it not only the oldest store in Oxford but the oldest department store in the South.

According to Hyneman, Neilson’s will be decked out for the season come early November and the program signals the beginning of a special time in the community.

Square Books senior bookseller Katelyn O’Brien said this time of the year gets extremely busy as it would for any retailer, but shops bring in new customers and new faces. The shops see a mix of locals, college students and their parents and tourists coming out to the Square to enjoy what local business owners have to offer.

“It’s business as usual but turned way up,” said O’Brien. “We’re really lucky to be able to appeal to such a wide swath of community members and tourists. There is something for everybody.”

The chamber wishes to help local retailers kick off the holiday season right and welcomes any interested parties to participate in the open house. Participating businesses will be highlighted on the chamber’s social media leading up to the event.

Businesses are encouraged to donate prizes to the holiday gift basket giveaway and to become an event sponsor. 

“I think the Shop Oxford campaign along with the Chamber [are doing] a wonderful job of informing the community and visitors what Oxford has to offer in the way of shopping, dining, and staying,” said Hyneman.

To participate or for more information, email Pam Swain at the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce at or contact Swain at 662-234-4651.