Residents, visitors, families and friends lined Hutchings Avenue in Ballinger Saturday for the annual Christmas in Olde Ballinger.

Residents, visitors, families and friends lined Hutchings Avenue in Ballinger Saturday for the annual Christmas in Olde Ballinger. The morning started with the parade and more than 20 floats including Santa Claus himself, traveled down the street tossing sweets to the children who had lined up with their families to watch the annual event.

The day of holiday activities was sponsored by the Ballinger Area Chamber of Commerce and the Ballinger Merchants Association. After the parade ended, the shopping began and vendors lined the streets and merchants opened their doors for shoppers. The atmosphere in downtown Ballinger exuded the Christmas spirit with holiday music playing outside and shoppers bundled up visiting the more than 30 booths that were set up along the street.

Vendors lined the streets selling everything from home décor to clothing, toiletries and jewelry. Plus, local merchants opened their doors with specials and added treats to attract customers.

“It has been phenomenal,” said Fallen Busenlehner, who brought some of the items from her shop, Tres Chic Boutique, to the sidewalk, where shoppers were lining up.

“It’s nice to come back home and see the community out supporting local businesses,” said Amy Dunn Lischka, a Ballinger native who was visiting from Bellville, near Houston.

The Sidewalk Sale, was indeed a boon for local retailers this year, because the shoppers went inside the shops.

“Business has been great,” said Lynette Freeman, who was manning the counter at Curiosities along with Debbie Hurt, both of Ballinger.

And visitors and vendors came from all over the state.

“It’s going good,” said Becky Johnson a Winters native who now hails from Junction.

Jeff Coufal of Forney, and his father Lynn of Pasadena, passed through town after a hunting excursion and stopped at the Surfing Cowboy Café where Bruce Bowen of Coleman was serving up Cajun shrimp kabobs. The shopping event coincided with Small Business Saturday, which followed Black Friday, two of the biggest Christmas shopping events of the year.