By Ethan Forman
---- — Several communities’ holiday-themed events also encourage shopping locally.
Salem is holding a Salem First Friday event on the same night that Santa arrives at the Hawthorne Hotel in Washington Square at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7. The initiative by Salem Main Streets encourages shops to be open until 8 p.m. on the first Friday of every month. Salem Main Streets offers a “Shop and Dine Salem!” guide on its website, salemmainstreets.org.
If you want to wait a week after Black Friday to shop, the Marblehead Chamber of Commerce is holding its 42nd annual Christmas Walk from Nov. 29 through Dec. 2. Casey said the event is perfect for people who want to shop local, as it features a long list of businesses, many of which will offer promotions, giveaways and contests at their stores.
“They spend a lot of their money to draw people in,” Casey said.
By shopping local, residents support businesses that also support community activities throughout the year, she said.
“Take a look at what you have in your backyard here,” Casey said. “You don’t want to lose it.”
While Beverly’s 65th Holiday Parade on Nov. 25 may be the day after Small Business Saturday, it also provides a boost for downtown businesses, said John Somes, executive director of the Beverly Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s a great way to get a large number of people into Beverly,” Somes said about the parade, which kicks off at 1:30 p.m. and stretches from the Cummings Center and circles around Cabot and Rantoul streets. Families turn out, and businesses get involved.
“The streets are completely packed,” Somes said.
This year’s Danvers Holiday Festival takes place Dec. 1 from 2 to 5 p.m., with Santa arriving to light the town tree at 4:45 p.m., said Aldonna Linares, the festival’s chairwoman and owner of Celestial Nails.
Danvers Square is blocked off for this event, which Linares said is a great way to boost downtown merchants, many of whom are also excited about Small Business Saturday.