The city of Upper Arlington and the Upper Arlington Area Chamber of Commerce have long partnered to promote the importance of supporting our local service and retail community. The Live in UA? Shop in UA! awareness campaign has been in existence for eight years, providing seasonal reminders to residents of the benefits that come from shopping locally.

In 2009, the chamber and the city partnered to help create an even more successful event at the Tremont Center with the annual pancake breakfast with the addition of Leadership UA, along with the creation of a new event held this past summer for the redevelopment of Kingsdale with the "Kingsdale Wrecking Ball."

Hard to believe, but now the holidays are right around the corner. For UA, the season officially begins when the community gathers to light the city's holiday tree for the first time. For UA retailers, gearing up for the holiday season, the most important season of all, has already begun.

The holiday season is traditionally a time most service and retail companies eagerly look forward to because it's a time when they conduct so many of their sales for the year.

The city and the chamber have been working diligently helping merchants with event planning for the annual winter festivities at both the Mallway and Tremont Center. This annual tradition has grown over the years to become part of an evening of caroling, horse-drawn carriage rides and many other festivities.

The evening of activities, collectively known as the Winter Festival, is scheduled for the evening of Friday, Dec. 4, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Mallway on Arlington Avenue.

Recognizing the importance of the holidays for merchants, the chamber's Retail Committee and the city are setting their sights on this festive evening as an opportunity to help showcase and celebrate the wonderful shops and services to be found in Upper Arlington's oldest commercial district.

Tremont Center will fill the holiday with cheer Tuesday evening to celebrate the holiday season on Dec. 22. The center will team up with the music department at Tremont Elementary School for the event. The holiday event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. in the courtyard.

The stores will be filled with music, decorations, children and parents all filled with excitement for the holiday season. Be sure and see Santa and his live reindeer!

Plans are in development currently to reach out to the area's businesses to add a seasonal Live in UA? Shop in UA! flavor to the evening's activities to ensure festival attendees can experience and learn more about what's offered at the Mallway and the Tremont Center not only during the holidays, but throughout the year.

If you own, manage or work at any Upper Arlington Area business and you wish to be in on the ground floor of these planning activities, we encourage you to contact Becky or Karen at the Chamber (481-5710), and to begin working with our Retail Committee to make sure the holiday shopping season can be your time to shine.