The monthly First Thursday event turned State Street into a hometown holiday attraction.
Dana Morton performed her “Joyful Hoop Dance” with a glowing hula hoop on State Street. The Santa Barbara Revels sang holiday songs in front of a Christmas Tree in the Paseo Nuevo shopping area and the Salt Martians Bluegrass Band performed outside the artists’ cooperative Yes Store.
The art and entertainment is a plus for area businesses. It created more foot traffic three weeks before Christmas.
National surveys predict shoppers will spend 5-8 percent more on gifts this year when compared to last year. Falling gas prices are also giving shoppers more money to spend.
Artist Dane Vemaas said he noticed people buying more expensive items this year.