Parking Authority Offers Free Parking for Holiday Shoppers

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POTTSVILLE -- Picture this scenario: You're shopping for the holidays. You head back to your car and oops, time expired on your parking meter.

Well, that won't matter for a few weeks in Pottsville.

The city parking authority is offering free parking for shoppers from December 14 until Christmas Day.

"It's our way of getting people to shop locally, spread the good cheer, and bring people back to downtown Pottsville," said Patrick Murphy, owner of Murphy Jewelers and Chairman of the Pottsville Parking Authority.

All public parking, seven days a week, will cost nothing during those 11 days.

Murphy says the city will lose money, but getting people to shop downtown and hopefully come back after the holidays is worth it. He just hopes drivers don't turn into a Grinch.

"We are encouraging that they do not abuse the system, such as employees and other people. We're trying to turn these spots over so shoppers do have available spots when they do come downtown."

Shoppers think the free parking should help some of the downtown shops.

"They're hurting, people are going to malls and all, so I think this is a great idea," said Anna Francavage of Pottsville.

A lot of the business owners in Pottsville say they love the fact that their customers can park, not have to pay, and instead, can walk right in and start shopping.

"I know a lot of people tend not to want to park just to run into one location and having to feed the meter," said Lisa Jack, the owner of Shop 203.

This will be the second year Shop 203 on West Market Street is open for the holiday season. The owner is hoping the extra change someone might save on parking will be spent in her store instead.

"I'm keeping my fingers crossed!"

The free parking is only for public parking areas in the city.

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