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MOV prepares for post-meal shopping

Holiday shopping has changed over the last few years as Black Friday sales expanded to the entire month of November, American Express began sponsoring Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday offered consumers the chance to shop from the couch.

“Even our downtown businesses have some Black Friday deals, and have a presence online,” said Carrie Ankrom, executive director of the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce. “But, I’d ask that if you see a great deal online, try and find the same item in our local stores. Remember, of every dollar spent in a small business, 67 cents of that stays in the local community. Come off your couch, come socialize with people in our community.”

This Saturday, local chambers, including Marietta, Beverly-Waterford and Parkersburg, are hoping local shoppers take the time to spend a bit of their holiday budgets on local merchandise.

“And don’t forget the restaurants we have downtown. People can get tired of turkey,” said Ankrom. “Have a burger on your trip, or pizza, or some Mexican food.”

While Sue Mantel, of Lower Salem, slipped downtown for her shopping Wednesday to avoid the crowds, others picked up early-runs of Black Friday ads at The Marietta Times to plan their annual family outings.

“Black Friday sales started like four weeks ago,” smiled Mantel’s brother Scott Blair, as the pair visited American Flags and Poles Wednesday.

“I steer clear of the big shopping crowds,” added Mantel.

But the Busch family plans out their Black Friday purchases throughout Thanksgiving day.

“My daughter has gone every year, we did it together when she was young and I started going with her again about three years ago,” said Diane Busch, 58, of Marietta. “We like to stage where we need to be, after looking at the ads. I grab my coffee first thing at Stoked (on Pike Street), and then we hit WalMart and K-Mart on Friday and go downtown on Saturday.”

Busch said she and her daughter Tricia, have secured great deals on electronics over the years, but also have picked up linens and toys at the large box stores.

“Towels are always on sale for Black Friday,” she explained.

Then Saturday, she has her eyes on Sugar Maple Boutique and trying out Jeremiah’s Coffee House when the first round of caffeine wears off.

“Plus, I always stop into Baker & Baker to see what sales they have on jewelry,” Busch added.

Marietta Main Street Director Cristie Thomas said the promotional nonprofit is also a partner in the local Small Business Saturday, inviting shoppers to stay downtown for free horse-drawn carriage rides beginning at 1 p.m. sponsored by the Marietta-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau and for the lighted Christmas parade Saturday evening.

Janelle Patterson can be reached via email at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

If you go:

• Small Business Saturday celebrations in Marietta begin at 9 a.m.

• Free horse-drawn carriage rides begin at 1 p.m. downtown

Sources: Marietta-Area Chamber of Commerce and Marietta Main Street.

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