Shoppers flocked to Central Avenue on Thursday evening to enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, roasted chestnuts, live music and later store hours at Highland Park stores.
Marking the kick-off for , a three-day shopping festival organized by and the , Thursday's event included deals from participating stores as well as a crepe booth, a drink booth and a s'mores booth.
"The whole idea of this weekend is to bring people out to shop," said Leslie Blesius, owner of . "An event like this helps people come out and really appreciate how we portray our community."
Some of the younger attendees of Thursday's event, like five-year-old Northfield resident Jonah Davis, got a kick out of the s'mores booth set up on Central Avenue. He was at the event with his grandparents, Highland Park residents Larry and Renee Weinstein.
"This is the most fun!" Renee said, "We rode the horse carriage, we saw the band, we had popcorn and we love the "
Highland Park residents Markus and Amy Hanssen attended the event with their 15-month-old daughter Emily. They enjoyed free hot chocolate from the wagon, and got a kick out of the ice sculptures.
"It's like our town has been turned into a winter wonderland," Amy said.
See photos from Thursday's event above.