Buchanan gearing up to support small business during White Saturday

BUCHANAN — As residents pack away their Halloween candy and turn their attention to getting an early jump on their holiday shopping lists, Buchanan is preparing to help people find unique gifts that can support small businesses during this year’s White Saturday.

Starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 24 a full day of shopping and family activities will take place throughout the downtown. White Saturday draws hundreds to patronize local businesses and stock up on holiday gifts. The traditional event also serves as a way to help kick off the Christmas season.

At 5:30 p.m. a parade will take place starting at the Duck Pond. Children are welcome to walk in the parade and dress in costume. Following the parade, in the commons area there will be a tree lighting ceremony and children will have the chance to meet with Santa Claus. A warming center will provide cookies and hot chocolate.

The event is sponsored by the city of Buchanan, Downtown Development Authority and the Buchanan Chamber of Commerce. Carol Carroll, the executive director for the Buchanan Chamber of Commerce, said the event is a way to bring people from all over Michiana to celebrate local business.

“White Saturday is our answer to Black Friday,” Carroll said.

In addition to local businesses opening their doors to customers, there will be numerous festivities taking place. Those who drop by the Buchanan District Library will be able to see live reindeer. Children will also be able to share their holiday wish lists with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, who will visit the library form 11 a.m. to noon.

The Buchanan Arts Center will have multiple activities available for all ages, including making ornaments. Those looking to get crafty can find a multitude of craft booths available.   

Other activities will also be taking place at Flowers by Anna and Redbud Hardware.

From a hometown coffee shop to businesses where people can find unique antiques and interior décor, Carroll said people from out of town might be surprised to see all the shopping options in Buchanan.

“I just think it shows everybody what’s available,” Carroll said. “I think this shows the type of retail we have available.”

Additionally, Carroll said she feels it helps to promote local traditions, too.

“I think it shows the kinship of our town,” she said. “It is really a small-town event. I think it really showcases what a great small town like ours has to offer.”

Carroll said the event is made possible through business sponsorships and she encouraged them to get involved this holiday season. Those interested in sponsoring can call the Buchanan Area Chamber of Commerce at (269) 695-3291.

With a multitude of activities available, Carroll said the event has a little of something for everyone.

“Moms can go shopping in the antique shops and stores and there’s something for the kids to do. They can meet Santa,” Carroll said. “It’s a great way to be out and about. It’s something for the family to do together just starting the holidays.”

A full list of activities for White Saturday can be viewed at buchanan.mi.us.

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