Southland Mall’s Balloon Drop rains surprises for shoppers

By Gary Alan Ruse….

Alyssa Mandel, $500 gift card winner, (center) is flanked by Ray Alonso of ESPN Deportes (left) and Maggie Anzardo of Southland Mall.

The annual tradition of dropping balloons with prizes inside at Cutler Bay’s Southland Mall the day after Thanksgiving continued for the third year and made a hit with shoppers, according to Maggie Anzardo, marketing director of the mall.

“The event went off without a hitch with a simultaneous launch of 1,500 balloons in three separate locations inside the mall — Sears Wing, Center Court and Macy’s Wing — at 8 a.m.,” Anzardo said. “Hundreds of people turned out for the event and genuinely enjoyed the experience.”

The balloons that rained down from the rafters contained prizes such as Southland Mall gift cards, Regal Cinema movie passes, and various store coupon offers. This year the balloon drop was sponsored by new radio partner ESPN Deportes, which broadcast live from Southland Mall from 6 a.m. to noon and provided interactive games for children, with plenty of giveaways of their own.

“The event has become a tradition at the center and people turn out in droves,” Anzardo said following the event. “This year the mall opened its doors at 4 a.m., but the Macy’s store had a first-time ever midnight opening. Nearly 500 shoppers were ready and waiting when Macy’s opened its doors…ready to shop.”

The mall also sponsored a contest on Facebook prior to the Black Friday event, and used the occasion to present a $500 Southland Mall Gift Card prize for an instant holiday shopping spree to the lucky winner, Alyssa Mandel.

Southland Mall is located at 20505 S. Dixie Hwy.

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