Downtown Lincoln is getting ready to kick off the holiday shopping season.
Thursday will mark the 10th installment of Shop the Blocks, the Downtown Lincoln Association's signature shopping event.
Deputy Director Todd Ogden was quick to point out that this is the 10th Shop the Blocks, not the event's 10th anniversary. That's because the DLA used to host one in the spring as well.
But now the event is focused solely on holiday shopping, and there will be 17 downtown businesses participating this year.
There also will be a new wrinkle: "Pop-up" shops from College View.
Paper Kite, Pattino Shoe Boutique, Select Style and Goldenrod Pastries will offer some of their wares in the vacant space at 144 N. 13th St next to the Rococo Theatre.
"We just wanted to add to the mix," Ogden said.
With the exception of the pop-up shops, this year's Shop the Blocks will be much like those in years past.
The event will run from 4:30-9 p.m., with registration beginning at Single Barrel restaurant at 10th and P streets. Tickets are $7 in advance online or $10 at the door the day of the event.
Tickets give participants access to special discounts at the 17 participating downtown shops, which also will be offering appetizers and desserts from area restaurants and caterers.
Ticketholders also get free transportation around downtown from Pedal Pushers pedi-cabs.
For information about tickets and to see a list of participating shops, go to ShoptheBlocks.com.
Shop the Blocks is the first of three holiday shopping events that highlight local small businesses.
The second is Small Business Saturday, which occurs on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
The third is Haymarket Unwrapped, which is Dec. 9 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Mayor Chris Beutler and representatives from several local business groups are holding a news conference Tuesday at Scheels to talk about the importance of shopping locally.