Want to get out of the house this weekend? Here's what's going on in Ripley and Ravenswood.
As Jackson County prepares for Thanksgiving turkey feasts, Ripley and Ravenswood are preparing for weekend treats.
Main Street Ripley's Director Sally Blessing and President Marsha Humphrey have been dashing through Ripley preparing merchants for this year's Small Business Saturday.
Unlike Black Friday, Small Business Saturday is an opportunity for shoppers to take advantage of deals at locally-owned stores. The nationwide event organized by American Express has been around since 2010, but Main Street Ripley has been celebrating small businesses like this for 22 years.
Once American Express started offering marketing materials to organizations like Main Street Ripley, it jumped on board. Before every Small Business Saturday, the merchants signed up to participate receive a bag filled with marketing materials.
Every year there is a drawing — this year there is $575 worth of gift certificates from the participating stores in the pot. The first name drawn will get half of the pot, which is $288. The second place winner will get about $188 and the third place winner will get about $100 in certificates.
Each store has a small container on its check-out counter where shoppers can jot down their name and phone number. The boxes will be collected after Shop Small Saturday is over and the winners will be announced the following Tuesday.
Ripley's Shop Small Saturday theme is a picture-perfect Christmas. The idea spurred from a project Ripley City is currently working on. This year, the city has taken the windows of vacant shops on Main Street and decorated the windows for selfie stations.
At the top of Main Street, there's what appears to be a candy store and a jewelers business. While people are shopping they're encouraged to take pictures in front of the selfie stations and share on social media. Main Street Ripley is encouraging businesses to decorate their windows with a theme of their choice or something as simple as a giant Santa Claus.
Shops are encouraged to have finger foods out for shoppers to create an open house environment, but not required. Main Street Ripley will open the doors of the Alpine Theatre for shoppers to stop by from 1 to 6 p.m. There will be refreshments and restrooms available.
These businesses are participating in Shop Small Saturday.
- God's Helping Hands
- WV Artisan Market
- Mia Bella Salon
- Amanda Greer Photography
- Vail Furniture
- Frugal Frog
- The Jewelers Touch
- Maka Mia Pizza
- Station 76
- Beautifully Blessed Boutique
- Faithful & Free
- Nieto Treasures
- Hardman's Hardware
- Jackson Signs & More
- Fat Alberts Pizza
- Hair Benders
- Art by Karen Wolfe
- Kountry K-9 Groom and Board
- Dairy Queen
- To Your Health
- Hilltop Meats
While Ripley is celebrating small businesses, Ravenswood will kick off the weekend with a dose of holiday cheer.
This year Ravenswood's Christmas in the Wood Parade will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday. If you still want to sign up for the parade, contact Denise Toler at \304-532-7259.
Participants will line up behind the plaza, march down South Ritchie Avenue, turn left on Washington Street and end at the Riverfront Park. With about 100 participants, the parade is expected to last two hours. Bring a lawn chair and a thermos filled with hot chocolate to get in the holiday spirit.
— Katelyn Waltemyer (she/her) is the General Assignment and Enterprise Reporter for Jackson Newspapers in Jackson County, West Virginia. Have a news tip on local government or education? Or a good feature? You can reach Katelyn at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @Kate_Waltemyer.