First there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday. November 27, 2010 was the first ever Small Business Saturday - and today it has grown into a national movement in support of small businesses and the shop small movement, which began as an effort to drive shoppers to local merchants. Celebrated the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday has heightened awareness of the need to patronize small businesses to keep money, spent locally, circulating in the local economy.
Small Business Saturday fits perfectly with the goals of the Kentucky Main Street Program, created in 1979 to help reverse the economic decline that had taken place in many small communities as retailers and housing began to move away from downtown. The mission of Kentucky Main Street has been to focus on downtown revitalization and economic development within the context of preserving and reusing unique local assets, such as historic commercial buildings. No doubt many Kentucky communities would look very different today without this program.
In addition to Small Business Saturday, starting in early November, Kentucky Main Street Program communities will be celebrating with festivities throughout the holiday season! Check out the list below for special events and holiday promotions sure to bring cheer to your shopping experience.
Barbourville Main Street
Barbourville's Storybook Christmas will take place Friday and Saturday, Dec. 5 and 6, at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center. Festivities will continue with the Barbourville Tour of Homes from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7. www.barbourvilletourism.com
Bellevue Renaissance/Main Street
Bellevue Renaissance says, "Visit the Shops on Fairfield Avenue for your holiday shopping! It’s the gift that keeps on giving because by shopping Bellevue’s independent businesses more money reinvests in the economy and a better sense of community is created. For your conveniences many of our businesses will be extending their hours throughout the holiday season including opening on Sundays in December. Be sure to mark your calendars for all the Christmas cheer!"
Events and activities include the November Shop Bellevue! - Turkey Jam – Giving Thanks, and the Giving Thanks Food Drive, through Nov. 23; Customer Appreciation/Holiday Preview, Nov. 21 and 22; the Fairfield Avenue Christmas Walk, Nov. 28 and 29; Shop Bellevue! "Will the Real Cindy Lou Who Please Stand Up" contest, Dec. 5; Grinchy Sweater Party, Dec. 10; Kids Coloring Contest and Shopping Days, Dec. 13 and 14; and Men's Shopping Night, Dec. 17. Click here for more details [Word-17KB] about each of these holiday promotions! www.shopbellevueky.com
Tri-Cities Heritage Development Corporation: Cities of Cumberland, Benham and Lynch
Celebrate Christmas in the Mountains with a whole roster of holiday activities, events and entertainment now through Dec. 21 in the charming southeast Kentucky communities of Cumberland, Benham and Lynch. Just a few highlights include the Cumberland Tree Lighting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18; Benham Town Lighting at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21; and a Festival of Trees from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6 at the Kentucky Coal Museum in Lynch. See the complete list [PDF–10MB] or visit www.tricitiesky.org
Cadiz Main Street
Family activities beginning at 4 p.m. will be featured during the Cadiz Victorian Christmas on Saturday, Dec. 6, including the Festival of Trees, pictures with Santa, caroling, hot chocolate, and the Lighted Christmas Parade beginning at 6 p.m. http://cadiz.ky.gov/deptag/Pages/renaissance.aspx
Campbellsville Main Street
Holiday events will get underway with a Christmas Open House from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15. Santa Claus will be at Chandler’s Office Supply, 210 E. Main St., from 2 to 4 p.m. Nov. 15, and again on Saturday, Dec. 6, before the Christmas Parade, which will take place from 4 to 6. Children and pets are invited to have their pictures taken with Santa - no appointments necessary.
A new, free "Campbellsville Historic Sites Booklet" with colorful photos of buildings and places in downtown Campbellsville and Taylor County will be available at several downtown locations. Also, "Kids Color Campbellsville" is a new coloring book featuring drawings of historical buildings that are large enough for even the youngest children to color. Purchase these for $5 at Cozy Comforts, 305 E. Main. Proceeds will help defray the cost of local preservation projects.
Also at Cozy Comforts, a limited number of etched glass Christmas ornaments depicting local historic sites will be for sale for $10, and at various downtown locations, the 3rd edition of the "Campbellsville Renaissance/Historic Preservation Commission Recipes" cookbook will be available for $15.
Cynthiana Main Street
The Holiday Market in Cynthiana will be presented by Cynthiana Main Street from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 29, featuring shopping at local small businesses, pop-up shops, music, pictures with Santa, Relay for Life's Christmas Tree Auction, and the Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade!
Heart of Danville
"Magic on Main" is the theme of Heart of Danville's holiday happenings, including a tree lighting, mayor's reception and Christmas parade starting at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5. Enjoy a Shop 2nd Saturday and Downtown Historic Church Tour on Dec. 13 - shop at participating businesses for a chance to win Downtown Dollars! www.downtowndanville.com
Downtown Frankfort Inc.
Commonweath Credit Union is the presenting sponsor of Downtown Frankfort Inc.'s 34th Annual Candlelight Tradition Nov. 6-9, the unofficial start to Frankfort’s holiday season. From carriage rides to hot chocolate, visits with Santa to a cocktail stroll, this festival has something for everyone and was named one of the Kentucky Travel Industry Association’s "Top Ten Fall 2012 Events & Festivals." Kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, with the arrival of Santa on the R.J. Corman train, followed by the Candlelight Welcome and Tree Lighting at 7 p.m. www.downtownfrankfort.com
Downtown Henderson Partnership
Downtown Henderson Partnership's Holiday Mania is on!... With activities throughout November including Christmas open houses Nov. 14 & 15, and Nov. 28 & 29 - Black Friday followed by Small Business Saturday! Get registered to win one of 23 gift certificates, or you could be the grand prize winner of a $250 gift certificate to use at any downtown business that is a Downtown Henderson Partnership member. www.downtownhenderson.org
Discover Downtown LaGrange
Do you still believe? You will after attending the annual Light Up LaGrange from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5 along Main Street, the Courthouse Square and other locations in this historic downtown. Hop aboard the LaGrange Polar Epress at the LaGrange Railroad Museum, with tours of the train, Santa and special activities for kids. Enjoy ice skating, carolers, street entertainment, shopping and special store promotions. For more, call 502-269-0126. www.discoverlagrange.org
Lebanon Main Street
Lebanon Main Street will partner with WLSK-FM to present an evening of 2014 Dickens Christmas Events on Friday, Nov. 28, with the lighting of the community Christmas tree and Chamber of Commerce Chili Cook-off beginning at 5:30 p.m. Downtown businesses will be open late until 7 p.m., and other activities will include free hot dogs, cider and hot chocolate; carriage rides along Spalding Avenue; strolling Dickens carolers; a live Nativity at Lebanon United Methodist Church starting at 6:30 p.m.; and the Dickens Christmas Parade at 7 p.m., followed by visits and photos with Santa at the Marion County Heritage Center. Arts and crafts vendors will be set up at the center from 5 to 9 p.m., and again Saturday, Nov. 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Festivities get underway with Christmas in the Park, opening at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 26 at Graham Memorial Park, 610 Park Drive. Holiday lights and displays will remain through Dec. 31.
Also click here for more [PDF-653KB] about the Heart of Kentucky Festival - a variety of activities planned throughout the holidays in Lebanon and Springfield. www.visitlebanonky.com
London Downtown will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Randy Smith's Christmas on Main Parade Friday, Dec. 5, with the theme "Silver Bells & Snowflakes." Festivities begin at 5 p.m. with music at the court house steps, the parade at 7, and book walks, a tree lighting, snowball drop and visits with Santa. www.londonkydowntown.com
Discover Downtown Middlesborough
Middlesborough is planning an epic Christmas celebration for the Tri-State area of Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. At 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, the community will host its popular annual Christmas Parade, with this year's theme "A Child Will Lead Them." Following the parade at 7 p.m. will be the first ever Tri-State Messiah Sing-Along at First Baptist Church. According to Discover Downtown Middlesborough Manager Isaac Kremer, "We'll be staging Handel's famous work and inviting the audience to sing along. Both events will build on Middlesborough's growing reputation as the DIY Capital of Eastern Kentucky." www.discoverdowntownmiddlesboro.org
Downtown Morehead Inc.
Downtown Morehead will present the Annual Hometown Holiday Weekend Dec. 4-6, with the 23rd Annual City-County Dinner at the Carl Perkins Center at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4; a Christmas Parade that stretches the entire 1.7 mile route of Main Street, starting at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5; and the Appalachian Arts & Crafts Fair at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 6 in the Laughlin Building on campus at Morehead State University. Later at 5 p.m. will be the Saturday Evening Hometown Holiday Celebration in the historic downtown commercial district, with merchant open houses, live music and shopper specials. The Saturday evening Night Cap at 8 p.m. at Morehead Conference Center will feature the Cave Run Symphony Orchestra led by guest conductor Scot Buzza. Click here [PDF - 3.6MB] for more details and check out a great holiday video sure to get you in the holiday mood!
Mount Washington Main Street
Free carriage rides, hot chocolate and cookies, caroling and music will all be part of Light Up Mount Washington, from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5. At 7 p.m., Bullitt East Marching Band will lead the Grand Marshall, Santa Claus, down Main Street. In addition to prize drawings, visitors will also have a chance to win a Mini iPad by Shopping Local and getting a play card stamped at participating small businesses.
Murray Main Street
From Manager Deana Wright: "This year’s event is going to be great! What are we doing?: Dickens’ Alley; music in the Robert O. Miller Conference Center; carriage rides beginning at 6th and Main and going around the square; Candy Cane Lane on the corner of 4th and Main; window decorating competition for retailers; Trail of Trees - tree decorating for nonprofits to compete and win money for their organization [Word-640KB], sponsored by Murray State University Town and Gown; cookie decorating for the kids at First Baptist Church; chili supper at First Methodist Church by Murray Lions Club; light show on the lots at 5th and Maple streets; Dickens’ Mall on the court square, a little extra shopping from the artists of Murray Art Guild; Town & Gown community band concert at First Baptist Church; Marley’s Pub in the Robert O. Miller Conference Center, serving hot chocolate, cider and baked goods, sponsored by CASA; AND most important, the tree lighting and shopping at downtown stores!" www.murraymainstreet.org
An array of activities are planned for the First St. “Nich” Christmas Festival in downtown Nicholasville, startin with a "Polar Express" Story Time and Pancakes at Brewer’s Restaurant, presented by Jessamine County Public Library and Nicholasville Rotary Club; a Jingle & Mingle vendor fair from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. presented by Nicholasville NOW!; a Christmas ornament workshop from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m at the Polvino Family Art Center; plus scenes from "The Nutcracker," handbells, an ugly sweater contest, and the premiere St. “Nich” Christmas Parade at 5 p.m. along Main Street, followed by a visit from Santa and a hot chocolate bar. www.nicholasvillenow.org
Paducah Main Street
Historic Downtown Paducah will celebrate a Dickens of a Christmas [MP3 - 2.3MB] on Small Business Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 29. Santa and Mrs. Claus will make a grand entrance at 10 a.m. from the Grand Lodge on 5th Street, one of only two surviving structures built specifically for use by fraternal organizations in 19th-century Paducah, arriving at the Gazebo downtown. Enjoy free Victorian carriage rides, Dickens Dancers, roasted nuts and wassail, and choirs, carolers and characters of all sorts! www.paducahmainstreet.org
Paris Main Street
Enjoy Christmas in Downtown Paris Nov. 22 with the Holiday Hop featuring open houses, live music, carriage rides and a scavenger hunt; Nov. 28 on Small Business Saturday, featuring Christmas carolers and carriage rides; and Dec. 6 with the Christmas Parade, tree lighting and visit by Mr. and Mrs. Claus. www.parisky.com
Pikeville Main Street
The 2014 City of Pikeville Christmas Parade will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, and locals are invited and encouraged to participate! To register or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 606-889-2489. www.cityofpikeville.com/mainstreetpikeville.cfm
Pineville Main Street
Pineville's community holiday tradition, the 43rd Annual "Lighting of the Star," will take place Sunday, Nov. 30, as people come together to celebrate through song, prayer and the illumination of a Christmas star on top of a nearby mountain. Other events include the Main Street Businesses Christmas Open House on Saturday, Dec. 6, and Christmas Tour of Churches Saturday, Dec. 14. For more, or to sponsor an event or volunteer, call 606-337-2958.
Princeton Main Street
The community of Princeton is encouraging residents and visitors to Save Big, Shop Local this holiday season during two featured events. A Black Friday Pajama Party will begin at 7 a.m. Friday, Nov. 28; click here [PDF-262KB] for more including a list of participating merchants. A Small Town Christmas Celebration Saturday, Dec. 13 will get underway at 9 a.m. with the Rotary Club's Breakfast with Santa and Friends. Other activities throughout the day include hayrides, a chance to meet the Elf on the Shelf, a Chilly Chili Cookoff, live music, hot cocoa and caroling, and a Christmas parade at 5 p.m. followed by photos with Santa. Finish the day with a Walk through Bethlehem until 8 p.m., and again 2 to 5 p.m. Dec. 14.
Shelby Development Corporation
The Shelbyville holiday season got underway with the Celebration of Lights earlier in November on the Historic Courthouse Square. Now the community is all decked out and gearing up for Shopping Small. Congratulations to Harvest Coffee & Cafe, above, this year's winner of the Shelby Development Corporation's Storefront Holiday Decorating Contest. Shelby Development's Eilene Collins wants to know: "Have you noticed the welcome mats, window decals, canvas shopping totes and other items around town to announce Small Business Saturday? As you shop November 29th, keep an eye out for customer gifts!" www.shelbydevcorp.com
Springfield Main Street
Holiday activities abound in downtown Springfield beginning with a Christmas Open House Nov. 21 and 22; special promotions for Small Business Saturday throughout Springfield and Washington County Nov. 29; and a Christmas Crafters Market & Bakery from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Louisville Store Building, including a Santa Walk and ornament painting, followed by St. Dominic's 2nd Annual Holiday Home Tour from 4 to 8 p.m. Other events include the Mid-Kentucky Chorus presenting "The Beautiful Music of Christmas" at 3 p.m. Dec. 7 at St. Catharine University, and Central Kentucky Community Theatre's production of “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play" Dec. 12-14 and 19-21. www.springfieldky.org/mainst
Holiday activities kick off with the Downtown Holiday Open House Nov. 6-9, with sales, discounts and special extended hours by participating businesses. Like the Downtown Winchester Facebook page to vote for your favorite holiday window displays, and enter to win The Great Gift Giveaway – an entire window of great gifts from downtown retailers! Click for the complete schedule [Word-2.4MB] of holiday events, and don't forget to mark your calendar for the Winchester Christmas Parade at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6. www.winchesterky.com