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Lewiston's 'Holiday At The Plaza' boosts local business

For the first time in years, Dufresne Plaza in Lewiston was home to a holiday celebration, inviting vendors and boosting nearby businesses.

LEWISTON, Maine — More than a dozen vendors and hundreds of residents visited the 'Holiday at the Plaza' celebration off Lisbon Street in Lewiston Sunday.

The event, which the mayor of Lewiston called a big boost for businesses, was the first of its scale in years.

"This is the first time in a long time we're doing something in Lewiston... events like this are great for our downtown and we have a lot of vendors here today," Mayor Carl Sheline said.

Business owners said an event bringing hundreds of people downtown is welcome.

"I didn't see anything like this last year even though I live up the street," Sadie Bonang, owner of Sade Fiber Studio said. 

Her stand was one of nearly a dozen at the holiday event.

But even neighboring businesses said they benefitted from having such a large attraction in downtown Lewiston.

Obscura, a cafe and drink bar, opened in the summer. It sat just a door down from the holiday celebrations and stayed open for Sunday, even though they are normally closed.

"The outpouring is great, a lot of love, it's good to see the community come out and support all these events," Angie LeFrance said.

"The biggest project right now is getting downtown back to that original vibe and it's happening," Cory Dufour said.

Reminiscing on their childhoods in Lewiston, Dufour and LeFrance said Dufresne Plaza used to host many large events. 

"It was a big deal to come look at the window decorations... we think it's special," LeFrance said.

Both LeFrance and Dufour co-own Obscura and said they hope more events can be hosted in the Dufresne Plaza in Lewiston in the future. 

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