It's a busy couple days this Thanksgiving holiday weekend with Small Business Saturday and the Chesapeake Cancer Alliance Festival of Trees.
Festival of Trees
Today also marks the beginning of the 13th annual Chesapeake Cancer Alliance Festival of Trees at the Bel Air Armory.
The Festival of Trees runs today from 4 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults each day and children younger than 12 are free. Children younger than 12 can enjoy face-painting and making gingerbread houses for $5.
This year, more than 50 decorated Christmas trees, 40 wreaths and 16 gingerbread houses will be sold, either at “buy it now” prices or silent auction, and all proceeds will be donated to the Kaufman Cancer Center at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center.
Entertainment throughout the weekend includes local musician John Sobus, the Bel Air High School pop choir A Capella Journey, Dance With Me School of Dance and the Hopping Hawks.
In addition to the auction, the event includes a breakfast with Santa at the Main Street Tower restaurant on Saturday, Nov. 24 from 9 a.m. to noon. The cost is $12 for adults and $9 for children 4 and older. Reservations must be made by calling 410-838-8007.
Small Business Saturday
After Black Friday and huge sales at national retailers, Saturday is a day to support the local merchants, the people who live in the community and contribute to it.
“Small Business Saturday is exactly what it says in the title, a time for shoppers to support their local ma-and-pa shops,” Bel Air Downtown Alliance Executive Director Christine McPherson said. “These shop owners bring so much to the table for the community. They’re the ones throughout the entire year that are supporting the community. This is a great day for the community to support the business owner.”
Small businesses are what makes a town, like Bel Air, unique and vibrant, she said.
Stores in Bel Air will have extended shopping hours all weekend, especially Saturday, with special promotions throughout the weekend.
The Alliance has been promoting all the Bel Air small businesses to generate interest in them.
It has run a social media campaign to highlight the various businesses by sharing their social media pages and sharing them with their friends.
The Alliance may have 14,000 people who like their pages, but the stores may only have a few hundred or 1,000. The Alliance sharing the business pages should increase those numbers of the stores.
“You can’t just be brick-andmortar anymore, so we’re trying bricks and clicks, really working with small business owners to have that ‘click’ presence,” McPherson said.