SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Friday was the official kickoff for the 2nd annual Rural Route Ramble with 13 towns across Siouxland participating.

Last year’s Ramble was organized to revitalize small town businesses after struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, it’s purpose is to give local shoppers an alternative to online purchases.

Towns such as Moville, Anthon, and Correctionville saw a spike in traffic today as shoppers visited everything from boutiques to pop-up vendors in search of unique Christmas gifts for family and friends.

Marissa Molland organized the 2nd annual Rural Route Ramble with her friend Melissa Nelson and said it’s rewarding to give small businesses like her own startup, Hardly General, a chance to show off their Iowa made products and provide Siouxlanders another option when thinking about Christmas ideas.

“We’re so lucky to have these small businesses who are making things right in our area so when we’re worried about those shipping containers, I know a lot of businesses where you can still go get your Christmas presents and it’s an honor to be able to showcase those,” said Molland.

The owner of Anthon’s Katie+Company said she’s had her own supply chain difficulties but this event allows her to push out inventory.

“There’s so many little businesses that can help you during the holiday season especially with gifts and I know shipping has been crazy for me getting my supplies in but we’re shipping stuff to our customers like right away getting it out the door,” said Katie Cloud Paulsen.

Kourtnee Fox, a storeowner of Correctionville’s Consignment Shoppe, said the Ramble benefits not just her business but the entire community.

“That helps our businesses expand, it helps promote all the other local businesses that maybe just started that nobody’s aware of yet. It’s a great punch to the arm,” said Fox.