Tomorrow is National Small Business Saturday, and local merchants are welcoming shoppers with open arms. Shoppers were already out in force in Old Town Bay St. Louis for "Black Friday" specials."It's more important than ever that the local communities get out and support small business in our communities," Bay Life Gifts owner Janice Guido said Friday. "It keeps the revenues in our own community, it keeps the tax right in our own little town. We have beautiful shops in the Bay and we want to continue to have these pretty shops in the Bay. But the local community has to support them in this day and age, for us to have these amenities." Guido said it's particularly important to support local business after the summer season -- usually the area's most profitable for local merchants -- was curtailed by an environmental hazard that closed down the Gulf Coast's beaches all summer long. "Everyone had a challenging summer due to the blue algae's impact on tourism," Guido said. "The support of local of business during this holiday season is even more important because of that. "That was a tough time, so we're all hopeful for a good last quarter of the year, and we're grateful for the support of our local community." "When you shop local, you’re ensuring that money goes back into the community for parks, roads and other public improvements through tax collection and to support local causes through the charitable efforts of local business owners," according to Hancock County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tish Williams. "For every dollar spent locally, 67 cents stays in the community. “Small businesses and the people behind them make our communities unique, and when they succeed, we all do so let’s get out and support small businesses throughout Hancock County.” The Hancock Chamber, Hancock Tourism, the cities of Bay St. Louis, Waveland and Diamondhead and Hancock County all have multiple events planned over the next few weeks to help make local shopping and dining more memorable this holiday season, including: Saturday, Nov. 30 Christmas Tree Lighting: Santa will be trading his sleigh for a golf cart and lead the way from Beach Boulevard to the Hancock County Courthouse where a Christmas tree decorated by local students will be lit. Enjoy music, photos and more. Bring your own golf cart to be a part of Santa’s team. For more information, visit www.baystlouis-ms.gov. The parade starts at 5 p.m., and festivities will conclude with the tree lighting at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1 Holiday Peppermint Pops Concert: Ring in the holidays with this family-oriented concert presented by the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra. Handbell soloist Danny Lyons will be the featured performer. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 228-896-4276. Hancock Performing Arts Center, 7140 Stennis Airport Road, Kiln, 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5 Nativity Walk: Luminaries and Christmas music will set the mood for this walk featuring individual Nativity displays along Main Street in Old Town Bay Saint Louis, 5-7 p.m. Open House: Social Chair in Old Town Bay Saint Louis, 5-7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6 Holiday Bazaar: The Bay Waveland Yacht Club will host its annual bazaar. For more information, visit www.bwyc.org or call 228-467-45-92. 666 N. Beach Blvd., Bay Saint Louis, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 12th Annual Bay Saint Louis Christmas Parade: Parade starts at the intersection of Necaise Avenue and Main Street, heads to Beach Boulevard, Court Street, Second Street, Union Street and ends at the Depot District – where the Snowflakes and Sugar Plums Festival kicks off). Starts at 11 a.m. 8th Annual Snowflakes and Sugar Plums Festival: Holiday fun for families with children of all ages. Hosted by Hancock County Tourism. Depot District in Bay Saint Louis. Free to attend. For more information, visit www.playonthebay.org. Held from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Holiday Bazaar: The Bay Waveland Yacht Club will host its annual bazaar. For more information, visit www.bwyc.org or call 228-467-45-92. 666 N. Beach Blvd., Bay Saint Louis, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Pearlington Christmas Parade: Starts at the Old Charles B. Murphy Elementary School, rolls up White’s Road to Seventh Avenue, down to Highway 90, down 604 and ends at the Pearlington Community Center. For more information, call 228-671-9576 or 228-671-6272. Starts at 1 p.m. Holiday Tour of Homes: Tour six homes festively decorated for the holidays in Bay Saint Louis. Cost is $15 per ticket and can be purchased at Maggie May’s in Old Town Bay Saint Louis. Proceeds benefit the Friends of the Animal Shelter. For more information, visit www.friendsoftheanimalshelter.org. Held from 1-4 p.m. Waveland Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting: Parade starts at the intersection of Nicholson and Central avenues, heads down to Beach Boulevard, west on Coleman Avenue and ends with the tree lighting at the Town Green behind the Ground Zero Museum at 355 Coleman Ave. Starts at 5 p.m. Shopping and Movie Night for Kids: Children’s shopping night in Old Town Bay Saint Louis. Shops will be open until 6 p.m. For more information, visit www.baystlouis-ms.gov. Juried Art Show and Reception: The Arts of Hancock County will host the show and awards reception. From 6-8:30 p.m. The exhibit will run from Dec. 10-14 at the Ground Zero Museum, 355 Coleman Ave., Waveland. Free.
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