Boulder will be handing out free parking passes to random shoppers during the holiday season, and downtown merchants will have another 30,000 free parking coupons to give out to shoppers.

The city of Boulder is providing the free parking coupons to encourage people to visit and shop downtown.

The promotion will take three forms: 

1.) Starting Friday, parking enforcement officers will surprise random shoppers each day before they pay for their parking with coupons worth three hours of free parking. Shoppers can place the coupons on their dashboards, just like pay station receipts. Those coupons will be valid only for the day they are received.

The city promotion will start Friday and run through Dec. 22.

2.) Downtown merchants will have 30,000 coupons worth one hour of parking at either the St. Julien or 15th and Pearl streets garages. That promotion will run through Jan. 31.

3.) One-hour parking coupons also will be available in Downtown Boulder holiday ads, both in mailers and in local publications.