ESCANABA — The holiday season will come early to the city of Escanaba once again this year when the annual Black Friday on Tuesday shopping event and the city’s Christmas tree lighting return on Nov. 22.
Now in it’s twelfth year, Black Friday on Tuesday is a joint effort sponsored by the Escanaba Downtown Development Authority and the Escanaba Downtown Partners in Business, an organization composed of businesses located on Ludington Street. From 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., shoppers can visit these businesses and snag huge sales.
More than 20 businesses are participating in this year’s event, with sales ranging from 10% to 30% off. For many of these businesses, the sales extend to gift cards, meaning that even those who don’t know exactly what makes a perfect gift can still leave their loved ones with something they enjoy — and support local businesses in the process.
“This is a huge night for a lot of businesses downtown,” said Lisa Lalonde, president of the Escanaba Downtown Partners in Business, who noted this was a good opportunity for shoppers to support the local businesses that give back to the community through things like donations to sports teams and benefits throughout the year.
Beyond the steep discounts, shoppers will have even more opportunities to stretch their holiday budget. Those attending the event will have an opportunity to register to win a $25 gift certificate at each participating business. Each business will select the winner for their gift card prize, but even those who aren’t drawn for a gift card will have an opportunity to win big Tuesday.
“All the other entries that they take in that night … we put them all together to draw the grand prize, which is the $250 shopping spree,” said Lalonde.
The shopping spree, which is sponsored by Embers Credit Union, is presented as “Downtown Dollars” that the winner can spend at any time over the next six months. Because all of the entries that aren’t gift card winners are used in the drawing, the more businesses shoppers visit, the greater their chances are to win.
Even those who aren’t interested in shopping will have things to do during the event. From 4 to 8 p.m., there will be drinks and snacks available at many of the businesses; and from 5 to 8:30 p.m., shoppers and others downtown can enjoy free horse-drawn wagon rides.
According to Lalonde, the event is well-received, particularly among women who often treat it as a ladies night out before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season gets into full gear.
“You get drinks at most of the businesses and snacks, what’s not to like?” said Lalonde.
Of course, no Black Friday on Tuesday event would be complete without the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree at Center Court, located at 1025 Ludington Street. The tree lighting will take place at 7 p.m.