Holiday shopping crowds were out in full force as many customers looked to support and shop local for Small Business Saturday.
A little holiday magic was on display in Middletown, which included a horse and carriage and pictures with Santa Claus. The rollout of activities is a part of the town's 36th Annual Holiday on Main Street, also known as Magic of Middletown.
"All of the retailers are excited and I really think people understand the importance of supporting local," said Johanna Bond, Vice President of the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce.
One of the local retailers benefiting from the extra foot traffic is A Pocketful of Posies.
"I'm happy to see people shopping local and small again. For a while, people weren't showing up," said Dottie Smith, owner of the Middletown business. "We got a few little goodies planned for them today and we're just hoping all of them just come in and have a good time."
The Demarco family said they always find joy in Magic of Middletown.
"It's been great. I know the kids were really excited," said Stacy Demarco. "We love Amato's, we love the bookstore and a lot of the restaurants downtown."
In Manchester, the town was also celebrating with the annual "Holiday on Main." The busy streets also meant more customers for restaurants like The Firestone, who are looking to bounce back after struggling during the past year and a half.
"I think it's great to feel encouraged by having shoppers coming downtown and shopping small," said Sophia Dzialo, who owns The Firestone. "I think people are really understanding the importance being placed on small businesses and what it means to have businesses in the community who need support."