Retailers in both Columbia and Marietta will participate in Small Business Saturday activities Saturday, Nov. 30.
Beverly Shank, executive director of Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, says both river towns will host special activities that day.
In Columbia, Santa will be the “man of the hour” for many hours on Small Business Saturday.
The jolly old elf will be available for photos from 10 a.m. to noon at Hinkle’s Restaurant, 261 Locust St. At 2 p.m., a Santa Parade steps off on Locust Street. Santa will also make a stop from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Columbia Public Library, 24 S. Sixth St. In addition to visiting Santa, children can enjoy a visit with the librarian for a reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” At 5:30 p.m., the public is invited to the Christmas Tree Lighting at Locust Street Park, Fifth and Locust streets.
Additionally, Small Business Saturday shoppers can take in the Ed King Memorial Model Train Open House from 1 to 4 p.m. at Columbia Historic Preservation Society, 19-21 N. Second St., Columbia. The display also will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in December.
Information about merchants participating in Small Business Saturday will be posted on the Downtown Columbia Merchants Association’s Facebook page, Shank says. The organization is sponsoring “Christmas Cash” on Small Business Saturday, and the borough has provided free parking at on-street meters downtown for the day.
As an added incentive to visit local businesses that day, shoppers can pick up an entry card for a $250 drawing at any of the 26 participating merchants. Shoppers can get their cards punched and initialed as they visit each merchant listed on the card. Once they acquire all the signatures necessary for the contest, they can deposit the completed entry into a box at participating merchants. The winning entry will be drawn Sunday, Dec. 1.
Among the Columbia merchants Shank recommends checking out:
— The Mayfly Boutique, 8 S. Third St., offers custom T-shirts, cards, stationery, textiles, baby items, dog gifts, candles, and custom glass and barware from Susquehanna Glass.
— Sweetpeep Boutique is a ladies’ and children’s clothing boutique at 475 Locust St.
— Murphy’s Mercantile & Co., a gift shop and general store located in the former pharmacy area of Hinkle’s Restaurant, 261 Locust St., offers a variety of gift items, including greeting cards, old-time candy and products from local artists.
Marietta will also be hosting some special activities for Small Business Saturday, Shank says.
The Marietta Outdoor Decorating Contest hosted by Marietta Restoration Associates kicks off Friday, Nov. 29, and continues through Small Business Saturday. Ribbons will be placed on the doors of winners Saturday afternoon.
The following day, Dec. 1, Marietta Restoration Associates will host its annual Marietta Candlelight Tour from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The tour features 8 to 10 private homes, public buildings and a variety of special activities. There is free parking and a shuttle service available. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the tour. For more information visit mariettarestoration.org or call 717-426-4048.
Some of the town’s retailers will have Small Business Saturday promotions, including 30% off in-stock cycles at Lancaster Recumbent, 103 W. Market St, and 15% off toys and sweaters at For the Love of Dog, 17 W. Market St.
First National Coworking, 100 W. Market St., will be collecting new clothes for families in need in the Donegal School District. Students will be identified by teachers, and clothing will be donated anonymously in time for Christmas, Shank says.
For more information on Marietta businesses and organizations participating in Small Business Saturday activities, visit the Marietta Area Business Association website, mariettapabusiness.com.
The Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce also kicks off its annual poinsettia sale on Small Business Saturday. The sale of red, pink, marble or white 5-inch poinsettias benefits the chamber, Shank says, noting they make great decorations and gifts.
For more information on the poinsettia sale or holiday events in the river towns, go to visitsusquehannavalley.com or call 717-684-5249.