June 21, 2018
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Many gift-givers are shopping in downtown Bangor

Brian Swartz | BDN
Brian Swartz | BDN
Taking advantage of Plaid Friday sales at Valentine Footwear on Main Street in Bangor, Morgan Cashwell (center) of Linthicum, Md. checks out a Born Sabrina black comfort pump while talking with store employees Emily Hanna (left) and Meg Gipson on Nov. 29.
By Debra Bell, Special to The Weekly

Downtown Bangor offers the quintessential shopping experience. Cozy stores, delightful local dining spots, and cleverly decorated storefronts greet holiday shoppers taking them back in time to small town USA.
Summer Allen owns Valentine Footwear at 115 Main St., next to the Penobscot Theatre. Her store specializes in women’s footwear, but also sells socks, belts, and other accessories. According to Allen, downtown Bangor offers many options for shoppers, from shopping to dining to enjoying the company of family and friends.
But there’s more to gifting than just buying a throwaway gift, Allen said; good gift giving starts with thoughtfulness.
For instance, Valentine Footwear store is currently selling lots of socks perfect for stocking stuffers. Package some wool socks or cute tights or legwarmers and give those as a gift. Allen said she has been assisting some customers with a “dealer’s choice” selection of socks perfect for giving.
Jodi Clayton, owner of One Lupine Fiber Arts Store at 170 Park St., agrees with Allen.
“We’d encourage people to think about [gifts] that have meaning, not things that are going to end up in a landfill a couple of months later,” Clayton said. “Good gift giving is less about quantity and more about quality.”
One Lupine Fiber Arts Store offers American-made items made by people who own microbusinesses, as well as items made by Clayton. From clothing to home décor to accessories, One Lupine strives to provide its shoppers with a sense of community.
“By shopping in local stores, you’re investing in the community,” Clayton said.
And that means that a purchase does more than just fulfill a bottom line: It makes a difference locally.
Mexicali Blues, located at 1 West Market Square, offers shoppers a well-rounded shopping experience. General Manager Julie Baker Leaden says that shoppers who stop into Mexicali Blues will find something for men, women, children and even those tough-to-buy-for folks.
Mexicali Blues located its sixth store to Bangor for the sense of community it embodies — and that sense of community is brought together by the work that the Downtown Bangor partnership strives to fulfill.
Downtown Bangor offers shoppers an experience unlike any other when it comes to retail. Plan a final shopping hurrah (or just a day out with the family) by visiting the Downtown Bangor Partnership’s website: www.downtownbangor.com. The partnership is working to make downtown a fun and festive place to invest one’s shopping dollars. Check out the area after dark to witness the festive lights or to sip on something warm while getting into the spirit of the season.
Visit thegaragebangor.com to learn more about the Pickering Square Parking Garage or to find out about other parking opportunities in downtown Bangor.
Valentine Footwear can be found online at valentinefootwear.com. Mexicali Blues can be found online at mexicaliblues.com; One Lupine can be found online at onelupine.com. All three businesses are also on Facebook.

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