MADISON, NJ - While downtown Madison is always jam-packed, on Thursday, Dec. 6, there were even more people than usual when the Madison Chamber of Commerce held their first ever Holiday Open House & Basket Raffle.

The event took place from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and anyone that stopped at a business with a black or white balloon in front of it received one free raffle ticket. Shoppers had the opportunity to earn more than one ticket by making a purchase at any of the participating stores. A total of 27 businesses participated including PC Problems, LLC, Cramer’s Carpet One Floor & Home, The Alternative, The Rocking Horse, Studio Yoga, Investors Bank and New Leaf Consignment, among others.

The baskets were on display all day at Coccia Realty and each one had a description of the item(s) donated and a small bucket. Residents were invited to shop throughout the day and then deposit their raffle tickets in the bucket for any basket(s) they wanted to win. Santa chose the winners at 6:30 p.m. at Coccia Realty and people did not need to be present to win.

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Donna Bird, of Gary’s Wine and Marketplace, who is also on the Board of Directors of the Madison Chamber of Commerce, said she was thrilled with how the event went.

“We’re just delighted to be in this event,” Bird said. “It’s wonderful to see all the people come into town.”

Jeff Halpern, Vice President at Coccia Realty, and office manager Margaret Musielski said a few hundred people came into their store to bid on baskets. Halpern told there was even a customer at the door when he opened Coccia's doors early this morning.

Danielle Dickson, the owner of D Torr boutique, said her store was mobbed all day with people pining for tickets. Dickson said even she was hoping to win a basket.

“I think it’s an awesome event,” she said. “It’s a great small town thing.”

Morristown resident Pam Elliott was getting her two sons sneakers and haircuts and just learned about the Basket Raffle. After picking up new kicks, they received tickets and were hoping to win something, she said.