BANGOR, Maine —
The day after Thanksgiving is a time for many to catch deals and jump-start their holiday shopping. This year, Bangor shoppers have an alternative in downtown Bangor. The city is hosting "Plaid Friday" instead of Black Friday. It's about enjoying some unique finds and deals at more than a dozen participating downtown stores.
"Plaid Friday" is a nationwide promotion that celebrates the diversity of local and independent businesses on Black Friday.
"It's a little more of a focus on independently owned businesses and instead of just focusing on crowding and low prices, we focus on community and kind of a fun atmosphere," said Summer Allen, owner at Valentine Footwear.
Valentine Footwear is featuring a variety of seasonal shoes and socks for women.
"We are very seasonal so right now we have a lot of winter boots, we have some cozy socks we also have beautiful gift items like handbags, scarfs, and jewelry," said Allen.
Mexicali Blues in downtown Bangor is offering eight days of deals, where the more you spend at the store, the more of a discount you'll get.
"We are looking forward to what downtown calls Plaid Friday but what Mexicali calls Mexicali madness!" said store manager, Julie Baker. "If you spend $50 you are going to receive $5 off. If you spend $100 you are going to receive $20 off and if you spend $200 you are going to receive $50 off."
One Lupine Fiber Arts/Maine Yarn & Fiber Supply makes its own yarn in-house and will also be open all day Friday. Owner Jodi Clayton says supporting small and local businesses this time of year is key.
"The holiday season for most retail businesses is really when you find out if you are in the red or you are in the black and that's really important. It's where any of us get to get ahead, maybe pay ourselves, get some money in the bank, pay our debt, and so it really matters," said Clayton.
At One Lupine Fiber Arts, you can find a mix of local inventory, from pottery and holiday decorations to jewelry and clothing. Across the hall at Maine Yarn & Fiber Supply, there are all sorts of yarns, kits, and supplies.
"The power of your dollars spent in your local community is exponentially greater than the ones that get extracted and exported to the multinational corporations who don't have any allegiance to the city, town of the village that they are in," said Clayton.
And Clayton said that, unlike some stores, "We have inventory. It is not parked in a cargo ship in the port of Los Angeles, it's here!"
There will be free parking throughout the day today at the Pickering Square garage.
Participating businesses in downtown Bangor:
- Benjamin's Pub
- Queen City Cinema Club
- The Rock & Art Shop
- 2 Feet Brewing
- Maine Jewelry & Art
- Print Bangor
- Epic Sports
- Mexicali Blues
- Central Street Farmhouse
- Rebecca's of Maine
- Valentine Footwear
- West Market Square Artisan Coffeehouse
- City Drawers
- Accents Home Furnishings & Decor
- One Lupine Fiber Arts/Maine Yarn & Fiber Supply
- Blush Bridal & Formal