Downtown Fort Dodge merchants, and a very important guest, invite residents to kick off the holiday season this Saturday.
An event called Merry on Main Street is scheduled for Saturday to help people shake off more than a day of turkey-induced drowsiness and get into the holiday spirit.
Merry on Main Street coincides with Small Business Saturday, a national promotion that encourages people to do some holiday shopping at smaller, local stores.
For Small Business Saturday, downtown merchants will offer various promotions.
For shoppers who arrive downtown early, event organizers will offer $20 in Merry Money good toward purchases at participating retailers. To get their share of that Merry Money, people need to arrive at the Green State Credit Union, 1207 Central Ave., between 9 am and 10 am. The first 50 people to register there will receive the money.
The local celebration of Small Business Saturday is sponsored by Main Street Fort Dodge, Green State Credit Union and the Fort Dodge Convention and Visitors Bureau.
A very important guest is arriving from the North Pole on Saturday night to help kick off the Christmas season at Fort Dodge.
Santa Claus and Mayor Matt Bemrich will meet at City Square at 4:30 pm to turn on the Christmas lights there.
Then at 5 pm they will head down the street to Veterans Park at Central Avenue and 12th Street, where they will light the towering Christmas tree there.
However, Santa’s work will not end with the lighting of the tree.
At 5:30 p.m., he will move to The Dariette, 17 S. 12th St., where he will greet people at the drive-thru window until 7 p.m.
The lighting events will be sponsored by Main Street Fort Dodge, The Dariette and the Fort Dodge Convention and Visitors Bureau.
If you go
What: Merry on Main Street
Where: Downtown Fort Dodge
When: 9 a.m., Merry Money drawing, Green State Credit Union, 1207 Central Ave.
4:30 pm Illumination of the Gazebo, Plaza de la Ciudad
5 p.m., tree lighting, Veterans Park, Central Avenue and 12th Street
5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Santa greets people at The Dariette, 17 S. 12th St.