By Mary O’KEEFE
The day after Thanksgiving is known just about everywhere as “Black Friday” but in Montrose it is “White Friday” and it is not just about shopping but kicking off the old town holiday season.
Black Friday got its reputation as the big shopping day when stores moved, hopefully, from being in the “red” to being in the “black” with their accounting records. Montrose Shopping Park Association (MSPA) though put their own spin on the day.
“[White Friday] started out as our version of ‘Black Friday,’” said Dale Dawson, business administrator/event coordinator the MSPA. “We don’t have the big box stores [like the malls].”
Big box stores are supercenters or superstores that are owned by large corporations.
“[For White Friday] we ask our merchants to ‘white out’ the sales tax or offer coupons on that day,” Dawson said.
White Friday though is much more than a day of shopping. The event kicks off the traditional old town Christmas, Dawson said.
“We will have free trolley rides on that Friday and then every Saturday and Sunday until [Christmas],” he said.
In addition to the trolley, on Friday, Nov. 28, there will be a children choir and adult carolers performing and even snow … environmentally friendly snow since California is in a drought.
“The snow will fall from the trees,” Dawson said.
In years past, the MSPA filled a portion of the 2200 block of Honolulu Avenue with snow but this year due to the drought they will be adjusting accordingly.
In the evening of White Friday, there will be the official lighting of the tree and Honolulu Avenue. Glendale Mayor Zareh Sinanyan and his children will flip the switch that lights the tree on the southeast corner of Honolulu Avenue and Ocean View Boulevard. Prom Plus Club members will help simultaneously light the 2200, 2300 and 2400 blocks of Honolulu Avenue.
Dawson also wanted to remind those looking for bargains that Small Business Saturday will be on Nov. 29.
Four years ago American Express founded Small Business Saturday as a way to help “mom and pop” stores promote their business. This year American Express is offering a saving of $30 for those who register for the Small Business Saturday program. The shopper registers then uses his or her American Express card on Nov. 29. Spend $10 at a qualifying small business that is shown on the Shop Small Map on the AMEX website and shoppers will receive a $10 statement credit for each qualifying transaction up to three times.
“My wife [Mary Dawson] is working with merchants to get the word out. We are urging them to register for Shop Small,” Dawson said.
While shopping small on Saturday the old town holiday feel will continue with free trolley rides through town, free pony rides for the kids, holiday singers and musicians on every corner and Santa strolling along Honolulu.
All of this is a gift to the community from the MSPA.
The holiday schedule for old town Montrose is: Nov. 28 White Friday – Children’s Choir from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., carolers from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Snow will fall from 6:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. and the lighting of the tree and town will be at 7 p.m.
Free trolley rides will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. along Honolulu in the Montrose Shopping Park along with strolling carolers, musicians and Santa on Nov. 28, 29 and 30 and Dec. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21 and 23.
Free pony rides are on Saturdays only.
For more information on Small Business Saturday visit