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Black Friday… and beyond

Record Store Day (2), “Holly Pop” and more help local small businesses take advantage of holiday shopping season kickoff

By Eddie Torres

Fort Wayne Reader


When Black Friday comes, big stores and national chains will clamor for your dollar by offering enormous discounts and one-time-only deals, and we’ll respond in droves. Maybe the day after Thanksgiving really is the biggest shopping day of the year, or maybe it isn’t, but whatever the case, millions of us will head out on that day, braving the crowds, the traffic, the lines, to snag whatever bargains we can find.

And this year, there seems to be a concentrated effort to ensure that smaller, independent local businesses get noticed amid the noise.

For starters: on Friday, November 23 there will be a sequel to Record Store Day. Launched in 2007 as a “celebration of the unique culture surrounding… independently owned record stores,” Record Store Day features a lengthy selection of special, limited edition vinyl, CD, and DVD releases available only at participating record stores. Both Wooden Nickel and Neat, Neat, Neat Records are among them.

Morrison Agen, owner of Neat, Neat, Neat Records (1836 South Calhoun), says that the Black Friday version of Record Store Day is not as elaborate as the “real” Record Store Day (which takes place in April) , but “…it’s still pretty big. There are quite a few ‘record store day’ titles out this year.”

“But basically, this is a grassroots effort to push people to shop local and spend their Christmas dollars in a way that supports the local economy,” Agen says.

The list includes special editions from The Rolling Stones, M83, Nirvana, Bob Dylan, Cee-Lo Green and dozens more. Supplies are limited, and the items are available on a first come, first serve basis. Both Neat, Neat, Neat and Wooden Nickel are opening early that day — 8 AM and 9 AM respectively.

Neat, Neat, Neat will also debut their “hi-fi room” that day, featuring different playback systems and equipment. “When we started this place, it was always our goal to offer both the music and the hardware, so I’m glad we’re finally there,” Agen says.

But the weekend isn’t only for record stores. Several Northeast Indiana-based entrepreneurs are joining forces to stage HollyPop—A Downtown Festival of “Pop-Up” Boutiques at 127 West Wayne Street in downtown Fort Wayne. “Pop-Up” shops are when a vacant space is turned into a temporary retail or gallery space.

HollyPop’s fashion-oriented vendors include OFabz Swimwear; The Good Ones Clothing Co; and Eternal Youth Clothing Co.

Covering the edibles will be Sharp Kernel Coladas Gourmet Popcorn and Yum-Mee’s Bakery, while Ferocious Quarterly and One Lucky Guitar will have art and design products available. In addition to retail sales, special events, including live music, are planned across the three days.

HollyPop will be open Wednesday, November 21st from 6–9PM to coincide with “The Night of Lights,” as well as 7AM–7PM on Friday, November 23rd and 7AM–7PM on Saturday, November 24th.

On Saturday, from 11AM–5PM, the Downtown Improvement District’s free Holly Trolley shopping service will include a stop at HollyPop.

There will also be another one-day “pop-up” holiday market at the Arts United Center, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. as part of Holly Trolley Shopping. Coordinated by the Downtown Improvement District and Arts United, this pop-up market will feature farmer's market vendors, artists and entertainment at the Arts United Center in the heart of the Arts Campus downtown by the Museum of Art and Artlink. Foxy Ladies Art Posse will also be in a one-day market at Artlink.

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