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Black Friday on Tuesday, tree lighting set

Daily Press file photo Escanaba’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony is shown in this file photo. The annual event will be held Tuesday, along with the Black Friday on Tuesday shopping event in downtown Escanaba from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

ESCANABA — Holiday shoppers will be able to get an early start on their gift lists Tuesday, Nov. 23 when the Black Friday on Tuesday shopping event in downtown Escanaba returns for its 12th year. Escanaba’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony will follow later that night.

Black Friday on Tuesday typically takes place in the evening hours on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, but this year, the festivities will kick off earlier, with downtown businesses running in-store promotions from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“If they want to avoid the crowd at night, they can come during the day. it kind of spreads people out, which is nice,” said Lisa Lalonde of Lisa Ann Boutique, who serves as the president of the Downtown Partners in Business. The Downtown Partners in Business puts on the event with the support of the Escanaba Downtown Development Authority.

More than 20 local businesses are participating in the event, with many offering storewide discounts ranging from 10% to 30% off regular prices. Some stores also have additional discounts of up to 50% off select items.

While shopping can happen throughout the day, much of the excitement will begin after 4 p.m. During that time, local businesses will offer snacks and drinks to patrons, and horse drawn wagon rides — sponsored by Dominic Benetti and Chris Sauve of Great Lakes Wealth Advisors — will help making traveling Ludington Street more fun for shoppers.

In addition to the sales taking place throughout the day, shoppers will have one more way to cash in on the event. At each shop, patrons will be able to enter a drawing for a $25 gift card to the store they are visiting. After all of the individual stores have picked their winners, the remaining entries will be placed in a large drawing for $250 worth of “downtown dollars” donated by Embers Credit Union that can be used across the downtown. Visiting more stores and entering more individual drawings increases the chances of winning the big prize.

Regardless of whether or not shoppers win a prize, Lalonde described the evening as an enjoyable night of shopping, drinks and eating before the chaos of the holidays.

“The family (that) is coming in for Thanksgiving hasn’t arrived yet, so you don’t have that. It’s not the night before Thanksgiving so they’re not busy cooking. So it’s kind of a free night before the storm with all that busy stuff,” said Lalonde.

As in past years, shoppers will be able to cap off the night by visiting Center Court, just in front of the DDA building at 1025 Ludington St., for the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree at 7 p.m.

In addition to the DDA, this year’s Black Friday on Tuesday event is sponsored by Northern Insurance Agency; US Connect Services; Premier Real Estate; Garceau Insurance Agency; Schneider, Larche & Haapala & Co.; and Riverside Auto Group.

Participating businesses include Canterbury Bookstore, UP North Specialties, Lisa Ann, UP North Roast, KCL Embroidery & Kreations, North Coast Apparel, Jim’s Music, Sayklly’s Confectionery & Gifts, Nails of Chic, SignUP Graphics, East Ludington Gallery, Northern Screen Printing, Refine Skin & Wellness, Nyman’s Jewelers, Dress Up, T&T True Value Hardware, The Grateful Cheese, Sherlock and Key Escape Room, The Morrison Shop, Mr. Bike and Ski, For the Love of Cupcakes, The Ludington Grill, Pioneer TV & Appliance, and Wishful Thinking.

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