In this blog, all photos were taken by Matthew Garsky (@matthewgarsky).
In Columbus, the countdown to Christmas kicks off with Holiday Hop. On the first Saturday of December, the Short North transforms into a winter wonderland, The Short North Pole. Dozens of performers (from saxophonists to ice sculptors), fill the streets. A Christmas Tree lights the way. Santa waits to be greeted. Restaurants, galleries, and shops welcome the ebb and flow of crowds. This is Gallery Hop with a hot chocolate sugar-high.
As great and unique as Holiday Hop is, it can be overwhelming if you’re not used to it. At Lykens, we’ve got experience under our belt. With Holiday Hop coming up this next weekend, we thought we’d share some of our reflections and advice.
What makes Holiday Hop so special? What sets it apart from other Gallery Hops?
Holiday Hop gives the community a chance to come together, get into the holiday spirit, and embrace all that The Short North Arts District has to offer. This one is special with the festive lights, holiday window installs, donation stations set up, and the sounds of holiday music filling the streets.
If you’re the least bit cynical about the Holiday season, this night makes you less of a Grinch.
What are one or two of your Holiday Hop “musts” and why?
Stop into Tiger Tree, hands down one of the most creative window displays with an interactive store set up. There is something for everyone here. It is an absolute must. You’ll thank me later.
Get a picture with Santa! Stop in The Short North Holiday Pop Up Shop. It’s fun and only comes around once a year. Why not be a kid again?
The Hammond Harkins Galleries is my favorite gallery. It is a must see with great pieces of artwork. Mission is always my go-to coffee shop. I warm up with that hand-poured bean juice. Forno is my jam to get some stone fired Hawaiian pizza!
Why do you think Holiday Hop, and Gallery Hop in general, is so important for the Short North?
The Short North has so much going on. There are so many people, so many businesses, and so many things to do. As wild as it can be, Holiday Hop and Gallery Hops remind us that the Short North is actually a real community. When you see all the people together, walking around, supporting local businesses, and enjoying one another, you realize that what the Short North has is real and genuine.
It’s important to keep our local artists, retailers, consumers and community connected and engaged with one another. Without Gallery Hop, we lose a sense of what the Short North Arts District and its founders worked so hard to build for us all.
What advice would you give a first-time Holiday/Gallery Hopper?
Start early. You want to leave a lot of time to check everything out.
Map out your stops. Set a reservation for dinner. Dress warm. Have a blast!
Holiday Hop is once a year and one of a kind. This special night is worth putting on your calendar. You’ll be glad that you did. For more information on Holiday Hop and the rest of the Short North’s Holiday schedule, check out this list of events! Happy Holidays!