ROCK SPRINGS – The shopping holiday is an alternative to the frenzy inside big box stores on Black Friday and the impersonal nature of e-commerce stores on Cyber Monday.
Shoppers are encouraged to shop at small, brick and mortar, locally-owned businesses the Saturday following Thanksgiving. American Express conceived the holiday in 2010, and provides free promotional material to businesses, chambers of commerce and other small business associations throughout the country.
Small Business Saturday will mark its sixth anniversary Nov. 28.
A number of Wyoming Main Street communities are holding events to encourage people to shop local.
Artists and entrepreneurs are invited to create “pop-up” storefronts downtown in existing businesses. The event will be similar to Laramie’s Pop Up Art Walk earlier this year.
Leading up to Small Business Saturday, downtown proponents will feature photos of all the business owners holding signs inviting people to shop downtown Nov. 28.
“Downtown Dan”, an elf that sits on the shelf in different Main Street shops each day, begins his tour on Black Friday. Downtown Rock Springs will post a photo of the elf on its Facebook page each day and encourage people to guess his location with a corresponding rhyme. The winner receives a small prize and is entered into a drawing for $100 cash.
Santa will visit on Small Business Saturday. Rock Springs Main Street will provide free gift wrap for all downtown purchases, free carriage rides from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a “Singing in the Season” mini-concert in Bank Court.
Rawlins will hold a selfie photo contest on social media to promote Small Business Saturday.
Participants are asked to post a silly selfie photo with merchandise, or business owners and staff downtown.
Shoppers can then post those photos on the Downtown Rawlins Facebook page or Instagram page with the hashtag #downtownrawlinsselfie or #shopsmall for a chance to win $100 in Main Street Money to be used downtown.
Small Business Saturday marks the first day of Glenrock’s Christmas Shoppe at the Commerce Building. Artists and merchants will display handcrafted items for sale Nov. 28 through Christmas eve.
Buffalo scheduled a fireworks display for 5:30 p.m. at Prosinski Park on Small Business Saturday.
Spectators can watch from the Bomber Mountain Civic Center. Local officials ask attendees to donate a food pantry item or unwrapped gift for a child in lieu of an entrance fee. Hot drinks and a cash bar will be available.
Participants can enjoy live music and dancing. There will also be a decorated wreath display where people can vote on their favorite and later win it at auction starting at 8 p.m.
Cheyenne’s 25th annual Christmas Parade begins at 5:30 p.m. on Small Business Saturday.
Downtown proponents will also announce the winner of the weeklong Holiday Window Display contest.
Meanwhile, shoppers can visit the Depot for handmade arts and crafts at the Holiday Mart.
This year marks Thermopolis’ first Small Business Saturday celebration. More than two dozen merchants will participate by running sales or offering special menu items. Each business will also have pieces from a puzzle designed by local students. Shoppers must pick up a piece from 10 different businesses to be entered into a drawing for a cash prize.
The Ritz Theater will offer a free showing of “Northpole” with each donation of a canned good or Christmas gift. Kids can visit Mr. and Mrs. Santa at Hazel and Pearl’s after the Community Christmas Tree is lit.
Later, the community is invited to a Christmas Stroll and Outdoor Market running throughout the day.
Sheridan will continue its 20-year tradition of the Community Stroll on Black Friday. More than 100 businesses provide $4,000 in cash giveaways and prize baskets worth at least $50.
Thousands turn out for caroling, hay rides and fireworks 4 to 8 p.m.