It’s a big week for holiday shoppers. Many of you are lacing up running shoes, setting alarms for ungodly hours, and practicing your kung-fu moves in case you need to disable a fellow consumer to save two bucks on a blender.
Fortunately, Black Friday shopping is a little more low-key in Bend. There’s still plenty to do to start your holiday season, but most of it doesn’t involve maiming anyone. Here are a few of the highlights:
Shop ‘til you drop
Many of Bend’s local shopping districts are kicking things off bright and early the morning after Thanksgiving. If you have an urgent need for lotion at 3 a.m., Bath and Body Works has you covered. They’re the store with the earliest opening in the Old Mill District, but plenty of other spots are opening early as well. Check out the Old Mill’s Black Friday Sale Page for up-to-the minute info about specials and opening hours.
At The Bend Factory Stores, things kick off even earlier with Midnight Madness. Be sure to check the Facebook page for The Cascade Village Shopping Center for specials at some of the individual retailers.
If you’re craving a more mellow vibe, you’ll dig what downtown Bend has in store. Small Business Saturday is part of a movement aimed at supporting local businesses. Hundreds of small businesses around the country are offering special sales and promotions on Saturday, as opposed to Black Friday.
Kicking the season off in style
The tree lighting takes place on the corner of Newport Avenue and Wall Street. Things kick off at 6 p.m. on Friday, November 25, but you’ll want to get there early for a good spot around the tree. There will be plenty of carols and good times before the lights go on at 6:50.
This event is an awesome opportunity to buy an ornament or two or twelve to support Bend’s sister city in Condega, Nicaragua. These lovely wooden ornaments were made by hand in Condega, which is located in the second poorest country in the western hemisphere. If you can’t make it to the tree lighting, you can also buy ornaments at the Bend Visitor Center or Saxons Fine Jewelry in the Old Mill District.
Planning to be in Bend the first weekend in December? You won’t want to miss the Bend Christmas Parade. Things get rolling at noon December 3 in downtown Bend on the corner of Newport and Harmon Avenue. Check out the web page for info on street closures, parade floats, and oodles of great photos.
Hanging with the big guy in red
Want to spend some quality time with the jolly guy in a red suit this season? There are a few spots to catch him starting this week. You can see Santa in downtown Bend at the corner of Franklin and Wall on the plaza between Starbucks and North Soles starting Friday, November 25 after the tree lighting. After that, he’ll be there the first three Saturdays in December. Find details on downtown Santa’s schedule here.
To chill with Santa in the Old Mill District, stop by SantaLand on Friday, November 25 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. After that, Santa will be in the house Saturdays and Sundays from 11-5 from November 26 through December 18. Then Santa will kick things up a notch December 21-23 with an 11-5 schedule Wednesday through Friday. While you’re in the Old Mill District, don’t forget to check out the carriage rides, roving musical performances, or the Tree of Joy. You can find all your Santaland details here.
You can also catch Santa at the Bend River Promenade shopping center, where he’ll be celebrating his 22nd season at that location. He’ll be there November 26-December 24 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11-6 on Sundays. 4×6 photos are just $5 each (the 1988 price!) and you can even get pics of your pets with Santa on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
No matter what you do to mark the start of the season, you’re sure to have a great time if you’re spending it in Bend. Happy holidays, everyone!