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Auburn Downtown Merchants Association hosts annual Sip & Shop event

<p>Downtown Auburn is hosting its sixth annual Sip &amp; Shop event.</p>

Downtown Auburn is hosting its sixth annual Sip & Shop event.

For all the shopping queens and kings, downtown Auburn is hosting an event which combines two of Auburn students’ favorite activities. Sip & Shop gives shoppers the opportunity to enjoy discounts in all of Auburn’s downtown boutiques and stores while treating themselves with free sips and snacks. 

The annual event will take place this Thursday, March 30, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Sip & Shop is organized by the Auburn Downtown Merchants Association and focuses on the downtown retail businesses. 

The event takes place for the sixth time this year and encourages the community to shop local. Every downtown boutique is participating, as well as the local businesses, J&M Bookstore, Stamp and Auburn Oil Co. Booksellers. 

Shoppers can expect special discounts, offers and goodies. For an even more enjoyable shopping experience, complimentary snacks and drinks will be offered in the boutiques. 

Another highlight includes free swag bags to be given out to the first 50 people in front of St. Dunstan’s Church at 4 p.m. Every swag bag will contain a unique mix of goodies such as gift cards to the boutiques, t-shirts, koozies or jewelry pieces.

Jessica Kohn, downtown coordinator at the Auburn Downtown Merchants Association, described shoppers’ excitement about the swag bags.

“It’s funny because people do love the swag bags, so if you do want to get one, make sure you come a little bit before four because we definitely have a line that will start forming before four o’clock,” Kohn said. 

Besides goodies and gift cards, the swag bags will hold another special surprise: the Downtown Association is bringing back discount cards. What is so great about these discount cards? They never expire. Owners of this card will get discounts in all downtown businesses for as long as they hold on to it. Discounts will be applicable in each boutique and can be accessed through a QR code on the back of the card. 

The stores will be open for extended hours on Thursday to ensure the shopping experience is available to as many people as possible. 

“We like to do it in the afternoon so that we can reach a little bit of everyone, not just our students but professionals or other people that you know have to work until four or five in the afternoon,” Kohn said.

For everyone that feels like getting into the shopping mood, the punch card will make treating themselves or shopping for loved ones especially rewarding on Thursday.

“Something new this year at Sip & Shop is we’re adding a punch card,"  Kohn said. "Our boutiques actually got together to come up with this on their own.”

The card will be handed out to shoppers at the first location they visit and punched for every purchase. Shoppers can drop the card off at their last stop of the day. 

The Auburn Downtown Merchants Association will collect all the punch cards from the stores and boutiques at the end of the week. Multiple lucky winners can expect gift cards, generously donated by the businesses.

Most stores will offer 20% or more off purchases. 

Sip & Shop is an opportunity to fulfill shopping wishes and have a fun night out.

“It’s just a really great time," Kohn said. "If you’ve got something coming up, I know Easter is coming up and people want to get a dress for that or then of course you have Mother’s Day, graduation or other things to shop for, this is just a great time to do it.” 

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