The countdown to Christmas traditionally begins the day after Thanksgiving with Black Friday sales. Next weekend a number of Vineyard stores will extend their hours, host events, and offer special deals to kick off the holiday shopping sprint here on the Island.
And, keep in mind that the day following Black Friday is Small Business Saturday, a nationwide initiative founded by American Express in 2010 to encourage patronizing local businesses. Their slogan is “Shop Small” but, although we don’t have big box stores on the Vineyard, there’s nothing small about the savings offered Island-wide over the Thanksgiving weekend.
Vineyard Haven is the scene for a number of sales. Start your shopping early (very early) at Rainy Day where, for the eighth year in a row, owner Heather Kochin will open the doors at 7:30 am and offer a free gift to the first 25 customers (the first person in line will receive a sizable gift certificate). Even if you can’t quite make it out of bed early, every customer that day can enjoy refreshments and benefit from a discount of from 25 to 50 percent off based on a coupon draw.
Across the street from Rainy Day, The Green Room will stay open until 7 pm and have sales on footwear, sweaters, and other selected items; C.B. Stark is giving 10 to 15 percent off storewide; and Beetlebung (all stores) will offer 50 percent off apparel and 40 percent off everything else. Visit any Black Dog store on Black Friday and enjoy an “Early Dog Special” — 30 percent off from 8 to 10 am. Later dogs will still receive 15 percent off during the rest of the day.
Bananas will feature special deals all weekend at both its Main Street, Vineyard Haven, and West Tisbury stores. Jewelry (at the up-Island store) is 25 to 75 percent off and both stores will have 30 percent off all women’s clothing and shoes. Also, check out the new men’s collection of casual, well-made clothing and accessories and get 15 percent off shirts, sweaters, leather goods, hats, socks, scarves, and travel bags for the guys on your shopping list.
On Saturday evening, a number of the businesses on the bottom end of Main Street, Vineyard Haven will host a block party. As of press time, Citrine, Madame Falgoux, Brickyard, Juliska, and Mocha Mott’s have confirmed participation. There will be music outdoors by porch light with Noah Maxner and Allie Hurwitz, refreshments, sales, and trunk shows. The party is from 5 to 8 pm.
Crane Appliance on State Road is offering its biggest sale of the year starting on Thursday, Nov. 21, and running through Monday, Dec. 2. They’re offering deals on everything from microwaves, speakers, and Blue Ray players to kitchen suites and almost half off HDTVs. “You don’t have to go off Island to get great deals and great service,” said marketing director Donna Longval. Not usually open on Sundays, Crane will extend its weekend and open on December 1 from 12 noon to 4:30 pm.
Oak Bluffs hosts a big event for the first time on Saturday, Dec. 7, with a holiday bazaar, farmers and artisans market, hayrides, puppet parade, family party, and more, plus the annual tree lighting and party on December 4. Starting on Black Friday, most local businesses will give out raffle tickets for the Santa Sweepstakes, so shop O.B. from November 29 through December 20 for the chance to win a huge gift basket with items from many local stores.
Night Heron Gallery on Main Street, Vineyard Haven, will also start a raffle on Black Friday with a prize basket with one item from each of their dozen artisans and artists-to-be presented in December.
Looking for something to do on Thanksgiving Day? Island Alpaca on the Vineyard Haven-Edgartown Road in Oak Bluffs will host an open house Thursday through Sunday. Visit with the herd, enjoy hot cider and refreshments, and take advantage of a sale of Peruvian-made alpaca blankets. Owner Barbara Ronchetti says that the farm will get a new shipment of blankets in solids, stripes, and plaids in time for the shopping season kickoff and she’ll offer deep discounts on all Peruvian products.
In Edgartown, The Boneyard features a BOGO sale (buy one get one half off on all regularly priced items) and J. McLaughlin, in addition to opening its Main Street location, hosts a trunk show featuring J. McLaughlin holiday and new resort wear at 45 Cottage St. in Edgartown from 10 am to 4 pm on Black Friday.
To check out a wide array of gifts, head over to the Artisans Festival, Featherstone’s Holiday Gift Show, the final Antiques Fair for the year, the Peacecraft Holiday Sale, and a special sale at the A Gallery on Uncas Avenue in Oak Bluffs where you’ll find an assortment of affordable works by Island artists, gift items from New York designers, art books, and locally made jewelry. The gallery will be open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with late hours on Friday (10 am to 9 pm) for a special cabaret/reception evening.
Islanders have two more chances to buy locally made art and gifts from the Vineyard Artisans. On Friday and Saturday, Nov. 29 and 30, the Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury will be full of one-of-a-kind offerings like hand knits, pottery, jewelry, soaps, leather and fabric goods, cutting boards and more, plus work by a number of Island artists. Another sale on December 14 will be the last of the 2013 season for the Vineyard Artisans.
Featherstone’s 11th annual Holiday Gift Show runs from Friday Nov. 22 (with a preview party from 6 to 8 pm) through December 19, daily from 12 noon to 4 pm. The show features affordable handmade gifts from more than 50 artists. For more information, visit featherstoneart.org or call 508-693-1850.
The final Antiques Fair of the year will also take place on Friday and Saturday at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury. “Some dealers – both Islanders and visitors – only do this show and others save their best things for the Thanksgiving weekend,” says organizer Patty Kirwin.
Peacecraft is a holiday goods sale that features items from Haiti and other self-help projects. All proceeds from sales benefit the individual countries. The sale is located at 30 Main St. in Vineyard Haven, behind the Beach House store. The store is open from November 29 through December 24.
The Small Business Saturday website offers good advice: “Small businesses are the heartbeat of our communities. They’re the corner stores that create jobs. The hardware stores that help build our economy. And the mom and pop shops whose very presence makes a neighborhood, your neighborhood.”