Holiday shopping season kicks off with DC-area Small Business Saturday events

Santa Claus makes appearance at Small Business Saturday evet
Shoppers in Fairfax, Virginia, got to see a special guest — Santa Claus. (WTOP/Heather Gustafson)
Fairfax Mayor with Santa Claus
Fairfax City Mayor Catherine Read with Santa. (WTOP/Heather Gustafson)
Santa with shoppers in Fairfax, Virginia, for Small Business Saturday. (WTOP/Heather Gustafson)
Santa Claus makes appearance at Small Business Saturday evet
Fairfax Mayor with Santa Claus

Small Business Saturday arrived with D.C.-area businesses and artisans excited to show off their goods.

Shoppers came out to support the businesses, and in Fairfax, Virginia, they even got to see a special guest — Santa Claus.

One shopper, who identified herself only as Kathy, said she was pleased to support her neighborhood businesses in Old Town Fairfax.

“We enjoy buying things within the city since we live in the city here. You can pretty much take care of a lot of your needs, which is great,” she added.

In Fairfax City, you could find 50 participating shops. Some are a little offbeat, which pleased one shopper named Chris.

“A variety of funky shops for funky things, it’s good,” he said, observing that local businesses are “bouncing back nicely from COVID, I think.”

Chris Bruno, director of economic development for Fairfax City, said shopping small in Northern Virginia is important because “we have so many small businesses here in the city.”

Bruno noted that Black Friday is important, but “Small Business Saturday is really the day for Fairfax City businesses to shine.”

“We’re just happy to shine the spotlight on these great small businesses,” said Jennifer Rose, executive director of the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce.

Some new businesses in Old Town Fairfax got their chance to shine. Mode on Main by Mara, Lucy Loves and Commonwealth Brewing Company all welcomed customers.

Old Town Alexandria also had about 50 local businesses participating this year with many stores offering in-store deals and snacks for those who needed a little more energy to get through the end of their shopping list.

Across the river in the District, the Anacostia Arts Center offered products from local Black-owned businesses and artisans. In Navy Yard, there was a pop-up shop with a variety of goods made by local craftspeople and businesses.

Heather Gustafson

Heather Gustafson is a Freelance Anchor/Reporter for WTOP, a DMV native and an Emmy award-winning journalist lauded for her 2020 Black Lives Matter protests coverage.

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