Now that the turkey is reduced to leftovers, many folks will be turning their attention this weekend to shopping for holiday gifts.

Merchant groups in Downtown Evanston, the Main-Dempster Mile and Central Street all have events planned this weekend.

Downtown Evanston is offering a $20 Evanston Gift Card to shoppers who spend $100 at local businesses. Main-Dempster Mile is offering a gift bag for purchases of $100. And Central Street merchants are promoting free parking vouchers — all to encourage residents to shop locally this holiday season.

More holiday events are coming up in Evanston:

  • Celebrate Hanukkah with Tannenbaum Chabad House on Mon., Nov. 29, 5:30 p.m. at Fountain Square. Enjoy live music, an LED robot dancer and festive treats.
  • Join Mayor Daniel Biss, Santa and Mrs. Claus in lighting the holiday tree in Fountain Square on Sat., Dec. 4, at 5 p.m. The event features performances by Evanston Children’s Choir, Northwestern Purple Haze and the Actors Gymnasium.
  • More music of the season from Rembrandt Chamber Musicians for Holiday Baroque on Sun., Dec. 5 and the Evanston Symphony Orchestra for its annual Holiday Concert on Sun., Dec. 12.
  • And the Mayor’s Holiday Food and Toy Drive is accepting donations online and toys and other gifts at local recreation centers and other sites around Evanston.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.