Sunday, December 21, 2014

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Shoppers hit Armory Square to avoid mall crowds

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Shoppers hit Armory Square to avoid mall crowds
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If you're still trying to wrap up your holiday shopping, you aren't alone. Shoppers have been flooding local malls but others are looking to avoid the frenzy. Our Candace Hopkins caught up with some of those shoppers in downtown Syracuse.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Heading to the mall during the holiday shopping season can be an adventure. That's why some people traveled to Armory Square instead Sunday.

"I've been coming to Syracuse for many years and I've never been here, and the last thing we wanted to do was go with the crowds," said Regina Watson.

Watson and her sister in law spent the afternoon browsing, in shops like Eureka Crafts. The ladies hoped to cross some gifts off their lists.

"Actually I'm a very last minute Christmas shopper because I can never decide what I want, and I do avoid the crowds, so I'm feeling very proud that I'm looking at things right now, and maybe I'll be a little more ready and won't have to run into stores full of people at the last minute," said Watson.

And even though many of these shops are small, they provide a relaxed atmosphere you won't find at a big shopping center.

"People enjoy coming in here, it's not a huge store, but they're surprised at how big it is sometimes because everything we have is handmade by American crafts people and it's special and it's more intimate, and I think people respond to that," said Eureka Crafts Co-Owner Tina Parker.

With the wide variety of shops here in the Armory Square area, many customers say this is the ideal place to find unusual gifts.

"My sister is visiting from out of town and we wanted to do some Christmas shopping, we're looking for our mother, we're looking for our dad, to try to find something kinda unique," said Liverpool Resident Tiffany Latino.

"I always like the handmade unique kinds of gifts, places with crowds usually have the kinda gift everybody gives," said Watson.

And if you haven't finished your list, you'd better get going. There's only two weekends left until Christmas.

Leaders are trying to make it easier to get downtown too. Armory Square has free parking in the Washington Street Garage on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as Thursdays and Fridays after 4 p.m. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP