1118 Small Business Saturday

Shoppers walk around downtown Morganton.

A couple of keynote events for the downtown Morganton business scene will coincide when the third FAB Crawl takes place on Small Business Saturday on Nov. 24.

Both events tailored to promote support of locally owned downtown businesses will take center stage as the post-Thanksgiving Christmas shopping season hits full swing between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The “all-day” event promoted by the Morganton Downtown Development Association and the Morganton Main Street Department will kick off at 11 a.m. and run through 8 p.m.

Small Business Saturday is a nationally recognized event started by American Express while the FAB Crawl — food, art and brews — debuted in May and reappeared in August as a way for folks to support downtown proprietors of those products.

“That Saturday is to help support small businesses,” said Abby Nelson, events coordinator for the Morganton Main Street Department. “We’ve had two successful FAB Crawls, so the idea was to do the FAB Crawls quarterly and the next one was due for November. It just made sense for us since downtown is full of small businesses and mom-and-pop shops. We wanted to host a FAB Crawl on Small Business Saturday as a way for us to promote our downtown businesses.”

This FAB Crawl has enlisted 23 downtown businesses, including Art and Soul, The Grind Café and Cofeehouse, Kathryn's Framing, SideTracked Brewery, Green Eggs and Jam, The Kitchen Connection, West Union Art Studio, Catawba Brewing Co., Oak Hill Iron and Wood, Fonta Flora Brewery, Burke Arts Council, Treat, Hot Box Vintage, The Natural Olive, Hamilton Williams Gallery, Breathe Yoga and Wellness, The Nook Homebrew and Tavern, Brown Mountain Bottleworks, OSuzannah's Yarn on Union, Morganton General Store, Adventure Bound Books, Sketch Art Space and Alexander Brooke Boutique.

“I’m very happy with the turnout,” Nelson said. “I think that’s the biggest grouping we’ve had so far for a FAB Crawl. I think it’s pretty diverse, too. We have food, arts and breweries all signed up to participated in this event.”

Nelson said the first couple FAB Crawls have averaged about 300 participants. With the convergence of the two events, the time of year and the opportunity to get a start on Christmas shopping, she expects this event to eclipse that number.

“Just in terms of how many people have followed the event, liked the event and said they were interested in the event on Facebook, I anticipate this to be the largest one we’ve had,” she said.

Each business will provide crawlers with a punch card to get marked at each business visited. Those who crawl can visit any 10 out of the 23 businesses participating and enter for a chance to win prizes. Once 10 businesses have punched a crawler’s card, they can turn it in for a chance to win downtown bucks. Three winners will receive $200 in downtown bucks, a gift certificate to spend in downtown. There is no cost to participate.

“I would encourage people to come out and make a day of shopping or hanging out with family in downtown and participate in the FAB Crawl,” Nelson said. “It’s an opportunity for people to come and see the diverse businesses we have downtown. Whether they buy anything or not, we would just encourage people to come and see what downtown Morganton is all about.

“I personally think we are blessed with a bunch of great businesses and business-owners that, if people aren’t aware of, they need to get themselves familiar with because it’s a great group of folks.”

For more information about events in downtown Morganton, visit downtownmorganton.com.

Justin Epley can be reached at jepley@morganton.com or 828-432-8943.

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