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Market Place Village Sets the Holiday Mood

Shoppers got unique experience Dec. 3 at Puetz and Highway 32.

Going for a holiday stroll down a cobblestone road during a light drizzle, along buildings with wreaths, brass bells, and colored lights. It sounds like something of old.

Unless you were in the Oak Creek Market Place Village Dec. 3.

The Market Place, at the corner of Highway 32 and Puetz Road, is home to 17 businesses. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., customers could walk through and shop while admiring the decorations.

Shoppers carried a card and got a punch or mark at each of the five participating stores. Those who completed the stroll around the village by visiting all participating businesses were entered into a drawing for a basket of gifts.

The businesses also had a contest of their own, with the best-decorated store getting an award and those that did not decorate getting a bag of coal at their door. "It's the scrooge award," said Linda Dlugi, owner of . 

Dlugi's business was decorated with a red Christmas countdown sign, a wreath and a boom box playing Christmas tunes. Dlugi planned to auction off a door decoration on display at the entrance.

Everyone entering Jan Massie's store, , was instantly greeted by Iggy, her West Highland white terrier, standing on its back legs. "Wal-Mart has their greeters and I have mine," she said with a laugh.

Massie said she used to come to the Market Place in the 1970s when it first opened and always dreamed of living and working there. She called the village a "hidden treasure" because it is somewhat unknown in the city. "People drive right by and don't know we're here," she said. Despite that, Massie said she was pleased with the turnout this year.

The stores had about a week to decorate for the contest, which has been held for about eight years, Massie said.

Two of her customers, Kitty Flammang and her sister Margaret, came up from Rockton, Ill. They met the owner of , Chris Jensen, at the Monona Terrace Art Show and Jensen told them about the decoration event at the Market Place.

"It's a neat little area," Kitty Flammang said. "We wouldn't have known about this otherwise."

They weren't the only ones that came because of Jensen. Diane Tramm from Milwaukee also attended the event because of Jensen’s gems.

"If you do nice enough work, people are willing to travel," Jensen said about return customers.

The was holding a special deal on stroll day: If shoppers sang a Christmas Karaoke song, they got a $10 coupon for any service at the spa, employee Scott Roman said.

One building not included on the card but extensively decorated was Bluebird Antiques and Collectibles. Christmas stockings, a plastic snowman and three wreaths of varying sizes were just a few of the adornments outside the business.

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