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‘Lights on the River’ shines spotlight on local Owego businesses

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Lights on the River in Downtown Owego

OWEGO (WBNG) - Holiday lights shined brightly Friday night across downtown Owego during the annual Lights on the River event.

Local business owners says it's not just about the lights, it also gives their stores and small town a spotlight.

Louise O'Neill, owner of Sincerely Yours cards and gift shop, says this year's event will be the last time she is participating as a business owner.

This comes after O'Neill announced her retirement, ultimately closing her popular store.

"Everybody says when they come in here 'I can't believe you can't find a buyer yet. This business is going to be missed.' And I'm going to miss the people," said O'Neill.

Other businesses and non-profits like Animal Care Sanctuary says it's a chance to be seen.

"A lot of people don't even know that we exist. Even though we are thirty minutes from here. It's not so much about raising money for retail. It's getting them to know what services are available to them… So it's more about community engagement," said Ellen Feldman from Animal Care Sanctuary.

Participants enjoyed live music, food from local restaurants and live entertainment.

"You know the fact that it's started to snow a little bit adds to the cheer. You have Santa Clause, you have the marching band. It makes you feel like your home for the holidays," said Feldman.

"It's good for sales tax, it helps the revenue in this town and it just makes people come and see the charm in it all," said O'Neill.

Lights on the river ended with a fireworks show behind the court street bridge.

People also enjoyed food from local restaurants and even got to meet Santa Clause himself.

Tyler Brown

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