By Jesse Wood
Instead of sending the wrong “shop local” message to tourists visiting Blowing Rock during Thanksgiving Weekend, the busiest shopping time of the year with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce promotes Friday, Dec. 11 as its “shop local” day for 2015.
In November, Blowing Rock Chamber Executive Director Charles Hardin explained that organizers of the event were concerned that visitors in Blowing Rock over Thanksgiving weekend would see the “shop local” signs and decide to spend their money back in their hometown.
Plus, Hardin noted that many of the locals weren’t “going to get anywhere near Blowing Rock” with the parade and traffic jams associated with the the holidays and Black Friday.
“This will give them a chance to have their town back,” Hardin said.
The shop local promotion this year is particularly “jazzed up,” according to Hardin.
This coming Friday, the shops on Main Street will be open with extended hours from 5 to 7 p.m. (and beyond) with specials and winter treats, such as hot chocolate, hot cider and cookies, to entice shoppers into the merchant’s doors.
The Watauga Community Band will perform a “Christmas Concert” in Memorial Park from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Although the weather forecast looks nice for this time of year, in the event of bad weather, Hardin said members of the band would split up into smaller acts and perform at the places of business.
Christmas carolers will stroll around town during the festivities and Santa will visit South Marke from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
In addition, the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce is also promoting the event as a fundraiser for the Humane Society. “Remember a furry friend by purchasing a luminary from the Humane Society … [and] engage in some friendly competition by bidding on stuffed stockings in select stores to benefit the Humane Society.”
For more information on Friday’s Holiday Shopping Stroll, call the Blowing Rock Chamber at 828-295-7851.