It's time to go shopping. Photo courtesy of Downtown Boulder Facebook page

The Inside Scoop on Small Business Saturday 2018


Thanksgiving used to be about the turkey coma and football. But now, before the tryptophan can even strike, millions of Americans bolt from their buffets to go shopping.

About 164 million Americans shop over Black Friday weekend, according to the National Retail Federation. But you can have your pumpkin pie and get your deals, too, if you participate in Boulder County’s Small Business Saturday specials. This consumer “holiday” falls the day after Black Friday and centers around local businesses.

A sign in downtown Boulder supporting small businesses
A sign in Downtown Boulder. Photo courtesy of Downtown Boulder’s Facebook

American Express launched the idea in 2010, and local businesses around here quickly hopped on board. In Boulder County, it’s about more than just shopping. Many businesses make a special occasion out of it, with snacks and drinks, free entertainment, games, activities and more.

Downtown Boulder, which is made mostly of locally run shops, bands together for a huge Small Business Saturday celebration. Last year, nearly 70 downtown retailers participated, and a similar turnout is expected for 2018.

Downtown Boulder on Small Business Saturday
Downtown Boulder under a blanket of snow. Photo courtesy of the Downtown Boulder Facebook page

On the big day, you’ll experience roaming holiday carolers dressed in old-fashioned clothing entertaining visitors throughout downtown and free visits and pictures (bring your own camera) with Santa and Mrs. Claus from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Visitor Information Center on the corner of Pearl Street and 13th Street (1303 Pearl St.). While there, pick up a free canvas tote for all of your goodies.

The Snowflake Express kiddie train in Boulder
The Snowflake Express. Courtesy photo

Kiddos (and adults) can hop on the free mini-train, the Snowflake Express, and cruise along the brick-lined mall. Of course, stores and restaurants in downtown will feature special promotions and in-store events.

Beyond Boulder

Other Boulder County cities are also participating.

The town of Superior is promoting the event, and Longmont’s Small Business Saturday looks impressive, with ice carving in St. Stephen’s Plaza, 500 Main St. Longmont will also have street performers, live entertainment and giveaways.

Interior of The Singing Cook
Interior of The Singing Cook. Courtesy photo

Looking to pre-plan your hunt for the best savings? Louisville has an online list of its Small Business specials.

Highlights include:

  • Free gear rentals at Evo Rock + Fitness, 1754 Dogwood St., an indoor rock-climbing gym;
  • A $10 gift certificate to another downtown biz for every $100 spent at The Singing Cook, 728 Main St.;
  • 20 percent off retail items and $100 10-punch cards (that’s a $25 savings) at Yoga Junction, 927 Main St.;
  • And 20 percent off in-stock e-bikes and 40 percent off accessories, rentals and service at E-Bike of Colorado, 544 Front St. The latter deal is good Nov. 23-25.
  • Also, at the Book Cellar, 724 Main St., for every $10 spent on Nov. 24, you’ll be entered in a drawing for a $50 gift certificate.

After all the shopping, head to The Melting Pot, 732 Main St., for lunch special from noon-3 p.m. For just $20 per person, indulge on cheese fondue, salad and chocolate fondue.

Top it all off with $5 apple cider mules at Tilt Pinball, 640 Main St. (and get 20 percent off unlimited gift cards on Nov. 24).

Tilt, Louisville's popular pinball arcade
Tilt Pinball. Courtesy photo

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