CARLSBAD — The holiday season is here and so comes the commerce.
On Nov. 30, the Carlsbad Village Association is putting on its biggest ever event to drive residents to the Village in support of Small Business Saturday.
The fifth-annual window-decorating contest kicks off the 10th anniversary of Small Business Saturday, which was started by American Express to encourage consumers to patronize their local small businesses.
Christine Davis, executive director of the CVA, said this year’s event will have more options and giveaways than ever. It’s a full day as it runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and from 4 to 7 p.m. it will feature the “Musical Kickoff to the Holidays,” showcasing the Carlsbad High School jazz ensemble at Choice Juicery, Davis said.
“We have more planned this year than ever before,” Davis said. “We have 60 businesses participating and more likely more that will be open. The shopping selections should be pretty significant.”
She said CVA has gathered at least 30 gift cards, with a minimum value of $25, for its “Gift Card Giveaway Tree,” where two winners are announced every 30 minutes. The winners will be notified via text message and have 30 minutes to pick up their card.
In addition, CVA will be giving away reusable tote bags, along with serving cake to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Small Business Saturday. All the stores will have sales and some will include refreshments.
The CVA booth, at the corner of Grand and State streets, will be serving hot chocolate and candy canes.
Also, the Village will feature live music with a classical pianist playing holiday music.
“That rolls right into the Musical Kickoff to the Holidays,” Davis said. “The kids are spectacular, and the talent is just off the charts. It’s a great way to get into the spirit.”
However, Davis said she is keeping close tabs on the weather, which the National Weather Service is forecasting rain for the morning of Nov. 30. Still, much of the event is not expected to be impacted, Davis added.
As for the windows, business have three opportunities to win through a the “People’s Vote,” and others from the City Council and the Boys & Girls Club of Carlsbad.
Dave Yant of Dave Yant Signs has been decorating Village businesses for the past five years. The Oceanside resident said more businesses are aware of the contest, which is leading to more residents also patronizing those establishments.
His decorations, meanwhile, either come from his own concepts or ideas from his clients.
‘I will do a sketch and map out their windows,” Yant said. “Sometimes, they have me do my own designs, which are your traditional Santas, snowmen, candy canes and trees. It’s a little bit of both.”
Some of the more popular requests, though, are surfing Santa’s and elves, which relates to the city’s heritage of being a surf town.
Yant said he gets booked solid from just before Thanksgiving through mid-December as clients race to get their displays up before the final ballots are cast. This year, though, he hopes he can be named a winner for the first time, he said jokingly.
“With so many corporate stores these days, to have the Village is kind of cool and quaint,” Yant said. “To have the hand-painted windows adds to the charm of the little Village during the Christmas season.”
*Note: The Coast News provides contest winners free advertising for being a sponsor.