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Within recent years, many corporate stores have been taking advantage of Black Friday by kicking off their super sales as early as 6 pm on Thursday evening. Around that time, families are usually starting to dig into that turkey their mother had been prepping all day and a mountain of mashed potatoes their cousin actually mashed herself because it’s, oh… y’know, just Thanksgiving for eff’s sake.

For those native to the Bay Area and/or visitors, rather than stuffing your face as fast as you can to leave early so you can line up in the cold chilly night at Best Buy or Kohl’s to save upwards of 70% off, consider kicking back with family on Thanksgiving, and supporting small businesses on Friday. Or rather: Plaid Friday.

Plaid Friday is an annual event that started in Oakland years ago in an effort to trump the spending on big businesses every Black Friday by encouraging locals to shop within their community. As it’s an alternative to Black Friday, the name “Plaid Friday” comes from the idea of “weaving the individual threads of small businesses together to create a strong fabric that celebrates the diversity and creativity of independent businesses” (via PlaidFriday.com).

Although its roots stem from Oakland, a city known for its strength in supporting independent businesses, it is celebrated in many other cities across the nation such as Portland and Twin Cities. You will know your city’s local businesses are participating in Plaid Friday if you see a Plaid Friday logo in their window display or Facebook page. Businesses that are partaking in Plaid Friday will also have some great deals going on!

Are you interested in voicing your support or want to see what other indie businesses across the nation are up to? Plug and search the hashtag #PlaidFriday and #ShopLocal on any social media platform, such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. For shoppers in Oakland, you can use the hashtag #PlaidFridayOak and follow the city’s festivities on their Instagram and Facebook pages.

If you do plan to shop during Plaid Friday, make sure to take pictures while you’re out and about and share them on social media to help promote the idea of skipping the mall and supporting your local businesses instead to help Plaid Friday become bigger and better. You can also show your love for small businesses by wearing plaid while you’re out shopping and having fun!

If you’re in the Bay Area, Oakland Grown has a list of the different indie shops and local businesses that are participating in Plaid Friday. Check the list out here and be sure to take a look at it so you can plan on where to go.

Happy shopping, everyone!

Featured Image Hannah Morgan under CC

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