Holiday festivities begin with Small Business Saturday

Now that Halloween and the elections are out of the way, it’s time to focus on the upcoming holiday festivities, and Renton is ready to celebrate in full swing.

Since this is a booming year for small businesses in the city, Renton Downtown Partnership is joining forces with Piazza Renton to host “Small Business Saturday and Downtown Tree Lighting.”

Small Business Saturday is a shopping holiday held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and is traditionally one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. Several businesses in downtown Renton are participating in the shopping extravaganza 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Oct. 26 by offering special deals and giveaways. Not only that, each participating business will be handing stuffed reindeer for kids.

The business district will be hopping with traveling entertainment and live music. Information booths will be set up at both ends of South Third Street to direct patrons to the right stores and provide general information.

Patrons will have an extra incentive to shop around in the participating businesses as the event also includes a raffle. A passport will be handed out at the information booths, and for each $10 retail purchase or $5 food and beverage purchase, patrons will receive one stamp from participating businesses. Give stamps earn one entry to the raffle.

The Pavilion will be open from 3 – 7 p.m. with live Christmas music by Lindbergh High School Jazz and Vocal Ensembles; cookies, cocoa, hot apple cider and popcorn provided by local nonprofits; crafts; and storytelling from Crankie Factory, a group of artists and musicians who share stories and songs using an old form of storytelling called “Crankie.”

And once the shopping bags are plenty and the wallets are empty, head to the Piazza at 5 p.m. for grand finale of the annual Downtown Tree Lighting and for an appearance of the Jolly Saint Nick. Mayor Denis Law will address the crowd prior to the lighting the tree. Santa Claus is giving his reindeer a break this year and will be heading in on a fire truck, and will stay for photos at the Pavilion.

The push for this event is a clear sign that the city’s attempt to boost the business scene especially in downtown. Their efforts were especially highlighted in Pop-Up Downtown that occurred in September, an event that celebrated the new businesses in the city including Urban Sprouts and Four Generals Brewing.

“If you’re going to be doing holiday shopping right after Thanksgiving, like a lot people do, why not do it in downtown?” said John Collum, the city’s Community Development project manager “[The event] promotes downtown and encourages people to see downtown in its best light, and maybe convince them to come back down in other times of the year as well.”

Small Business Saturday and Downtown Tree Lighting will be 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Nov. 26 at the Pavilion, Piazza Park and in various downtown businesses.