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Small Business Saturday in the Berkshires
By Jack Guerino & Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
01:35PM / Friday, November 26, 2021
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Forget Black Friday and Cyber Monday, shop local on Small Business Saturday.
 
Communities throughout the county are elevating their small businesses on Small Business Saturday with holiday markets and other special events.
 
The national effort occurs on Nov. 27, one day after Black Friday when people typically flock to big box stores for holiday shopping. (Some local businesses are getting a head start with "Plaid Friday," a new movement that focuses on local and independent stores.)
 
Downtown Pittsfield will be celebrating the plethora of locally owned shops, eateries, and businesses it has to offer during Small Business Saturday.
 
Along with special offers, this year's event includes live music, a maker's market, a treasure hunt, a visit from Santa, and the annual MountainOne Free Thankful 5K.
 
Last year's celebrations were curtailed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and Downtown Pittsfield Inc. is looking forward to a full range of events this year.
 
"Last year, a lot of our businesses were only open by appointment only, or were doing curbside pickup, restaurants the same were just doing delivery or takeout," Downtown Pittsfield Inc. marketing coordinator Kimberly Gritman said.
 
"So this year, everything, for the most part, is open and operating as, as usual. So it's like more of a traditional Small Business Saturday, and there's just a lot more going on than even in the past."
 
To navigate the day, residents are encouraged to use the free Downtown Pittsfield app. Downtown Pittsfield gift cards, formerly known as the Heart of the Berkshires gift card, will be available for purchase and can be used at 27 locations.
 
"This is a big day for our downtown," Gritman added.
 
The event will be marked with decorations from Alluring Balloon Creations in retail cluster areas.
 
The Thankful 5K is an hour-long jaunt that begins at 9 a.m. Depot Street and goes down North Street to Waconah Street and back twice. It will be held in conjunction with the City of Pittsfield and sponsored by MountainOne.  
 
While the race is free, Thankful Hats can be purchased for $25 to benefit local people in need. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the hats are sent to Pittsfield food pantries and MountainOne will donate an additional five dollars for every hat sold.
 
Both runners and members of the public can purchase the hats at Berkshire Running Center or on their website.  People wearing thankful hats will have access to special offers from 101 Restaurant & Bar, Dottie's Coffee Lounge, Hot Harry's, The Spot, the Marketplace Café, and Thrive Diner.
 
For a pick me up, 101 Restaurant & Bar will open at 6:30 a.m. through lunch and offer a Thankful 5k Bloody Mary.
 
To fuel after the run, Mission Gastropub will host a brunch beginning at 10 a.m.
 
Not into running? Berkshire Yoga Dance & Fitness will host their grand opening house from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and with registration, the same classes will be offered all day.
 
As part of Downtown Pittsfield, Inc.'s Indoors Out! Music on North series, acoustic singer/songwriters The Midnight Anthem will serenade the runners and shoppers in the parklet outside of the Marketplace Cafe from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
 
With the downtown being zoned as a creative district, there will be plenty of artistic offerings.  A holiday craft fair will be held at BBE Office Interiors on 1595 East Street from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. featuring over a dozen local vendors.
 
Local treasure hunt company CozQuest will host a makers market at Hotel on North from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and down the street, shoppers will be able to purchase paintings, ceramics, jewelry and other gifts at NUarts studios and gallery at 311 North Street and 21 Union Street from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
 
There will also be a Thankful Story Walk and craft from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Berkshire Athenaeum for the youngsters.
 
CozQuest will be hosting a countywide holiday treasure hunt from Nov. 27 into December with deals, discounts, and prizes hidden throughout.
 
In Adams, Downtown Adams is celebrating local vendors and crafters throughout the downtown. It will also host a pop-up holiday market.
 
"This is such a great opportunity for our community to shop locally from different crafters and direct sales vendors for the holidays," said Heather Blake of Downtown Adams. "So many people have been hit hard by the pandemic and many crafters haven't had a place to sell their items. We are so happy to be able to offer them a place to do that right now. "
 
A pop-up market will be open in the Mausert Block from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., but businesses on Hoosac, Summer, and Park Streets will also be open.
 
"This year for Small Business Saturday we have artists selling cards and prints, crafters who sell jewelry, decorative items, body care, children's items and more," Blake said.
 
Vendors will be masked and separated.
 
She added that many of the shops downtown will have special promotions. Adams Outlet will have its entire store on sale and Bella Sky will be giving away swag bags to 10 customers from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  
 
The Berkshire Scenic Train will also have two trains departing that day, the first at 1 p.m. and the second at 3 p.m. All tickets must be purchased in advance.
 
Blake said Downtown Adams plans to host more pop-up markets throughout the year. Markets are scheduled for Dec. 5, Dec. 11, and Dec. 12. 
 
"This is just one part, one step, in building a stronger, more active Adams," she said. "We all need to support each other and help each other grow. As we do that, we will help Adams grow. Adams is about our people, our small businesses and about the resources that we have in town from the trains, to the trails and up to the [Greylock] Glen. We can't wait to see everyone come shop and enjoy downtown Adams on Small Business Saturday.
 
In North Adams there will be a Holiday Market at 77 Main from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Shoppers are encouraged to utilize market punch cards and to shop and visit selected downtown businesses to be eligible for a raffle. 
 
Participating businesses include Megan Karlen Art, Emilee Reynolds ECE, Wallasauce Capek Crafts, Bohemian Nouveaux, Common Folk, and Made by Sarah Rose Savvy Hive.  Common Folk will hold a Holiday Card Making session.
 
Markets and craft fairs will be staged throughout the holiday season. Here is a list of events scheduled so far.
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