Buda tree festival is newest effort to help businesses

By Sahar Chmais 

Buda continues to find new ways to light up the city for the holidays – and this time it is doing it for a cause. The coronavirus pandemic has financially crippled many small businesses across the U.S. and Buda is no exception, so the city has decided to step in to help its local stores.

While Buda’s leadership has found many ways to prevent businesses from closing down shop by funding programs, this time the city is taking a new approach.

Buda Main Street Program has partnered with the Downtown Buda Merchants Group, launching a fundraiser to help keep downtown businesses open this holiday season while creating a joyous ambience. The month-long Buda Festival of Trees will showcase a trail of decorated trees in the midst of the Historic Downtown Buda. Families and groups will donate and decorate a tree which will surround the big tree in Greenbelt Park.

This celebration depends on families and small groups donating $25 between now and Dec. 10.

Participants receive a plaque and an entry to win downtown prizes based on multiple categories. Once the festival is over, participants will retrieve their trees to reduce waste.

“Normally during this time of year, Main Street and the Merchants Group are planning events like the Holiday Sip & Stroll and Cocoa Jingle that are designed to bring friends closer together and boost sales in the 4th quarter for businesses,” said Maggie Gillespie, Buda Main Street Program manager. “During a time of COVID, we are looking for creative new ways to give businesses the extra boost they need while also keeping the heart of the community in the minds of our residents and visitors.”

All funds from this festival will go toward small businesses in Historic Downtown Buda. Spots are limited; participants are asked to sign up ahead of time through the city’s website.

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Sahar Chmais holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been covering cities in Hays County for one year, touching on residents' struggles and successes, city issues, COVID-19 and more. Prior to reporting on the local spectrum, Sahar reported for a national news organization, covering gun violence. Sahar enjoys working as a local reporter because she gets to work with real people and their stories.

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