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The Night Market at the Gard Vinters on Wednesday nights is the Ellensburg Downtown Association’s newest business element, giving shoppers a chance to mingle, shop, drink a glass of wine and spend a weekday night in the historic downtown supporting local business.

But the holiday season really kicks into high gear a mere day after putting down the knife and fork for Thanksgiving with Moments to Remember and Plaid Friday on Nov. 26.

“Black Friday has nothing on downtown Ellensburg’s Plaid Friday,” EDA executive director Brenda DeVore said. “Join the EDA for Plaid Friday, and help us bring shoppers downtown to experience local charm and exceptional customer service on the craziest shopping day of the year.

“Shoppers wearing plaid will be scoping out deals and discounts from participating retail locations.”

Plaid Friday is a nationwide celebration on the Friday after Thanksgiving in lieu of Black Friday. Unlike Black Friday, Plaid Friday is designed to encourage shoppers to shop small and support local businesses as they kick off their holiday season.

For decades, Ellensburg has been generating Moments to Remember, drawing hundreds to downtown to mark the start of the holiday season with literally the flip of a switch. When darkness falls, the historic downtown buildings will come alive with more than 10,000 Christmas lights outlining their facades.

The day also is the day Ellensburg gets into the Christmas spirit with Moments To Remember. The Central Washington Dance Academy will perform scenes from the Nutcracker at 5:15 p.m. and again at 6:20 p.m. at the State Farm window.

The pandemic has played havoc with the schedule over the past couple of years, but locals and visitors alike can look forward to the Rotary Pavilion Tree Lighting again this year.

The night turns even more special with the gathering around the Rotary Pavilion for the Downtown Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5:45 p.m. The night will be capped off with the Street of Bethlehem traveling play along the alley way by Mountain High Sports at 7 p.m.

There will be live music provided by Make Music Ellensburg, carolers, dancers and more than enough holiday cheer to go around.

The EDA is also instigating the new Shop Local Contest from Nov. 27 to Dec. 15 to benefit Ellensburg businesses throughout the holiday season.

Beginning on Small Business Saturday (Nov. 27), every time a customer spends $25 or more at an Ellensburg business, they can enter for a chance to win. There will be three random winners chosen at noon on Dec.16 for a chance to win cash prizes of $250, $500 and $1,000.

Shop Local contest rules:

• Provide a snap a photo of the receipt (showing the Ellensburg business address), and upload it at EllensburgDowntown.org

• There is no limit to the number of times a person can enter.

• Winners will be contacted Dec. 16 and cash prizes will be awarded Dec. 17. Recipients must be in Ellensburg and agree to photo op.

• Certain restrictions apply. Visit EllensburgDowntown.org for more information.

There is a bit of frost on the ground, a nip in the air and the time to get together with friends and family is rapidly approaching. Hometown Holidays is back and helping support local business along the way.

Rodney Harwood: award-winning journalist and columnist. Lover of golf and the written word. I can be reached at rharwood@kvnews.com

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