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Editorial: Some razzle-dazzle beats Black Friday

The day after Thanksgiving, traditionally the start of the Christmas shopping season, is dubbed Black Friday. Many people get the day off, which explodes the number of shoppers.

On Black Friday people leave home in droves and head for the malls, bringing heavy traffic, jammed store aisles, and long lines at checkout counters. While it's a boon for retail cash registers, Black Friday is clearly not an endearing term.

For those of you with the day off, why not avoid the shopping herd mentality? Make it a truly good Friday by staying close to home and enjoying the food, entertainment, art and holiday spectacle provided at the annual River Dazzle Dayz, Nov. 27.

If you do, here's some of what you can expect to find in downtown River Falls:

  • The Art Crawl from noon to 6 p.m. The work of local artists will be displayed and for sale at many participating stores and shops. Prizes, donated by the artists, will be drawn at 6:15 p.m. at Veterans Park.
  • Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with reindeer, camels and lamas will be stationed at Veterans Park from 1-4:30 p.m. Candy will be given to kids. Photos with Santa cost $4.
  • The popular Chili Cookoff at participating restaurants, shops and bars is back and runs from 2-6 p.m. Sample and then judge for yourself which recipes are the best. Enter a drawing for "chamber checks." Winners will be announced at Veterans Park at 6:15 p.m.
  • A free kids' movie, sponsored by the Lions Club, will be shown at the Falls Theater at 3 p.m. For more information, go to or
  • Free hayrides around town from 4:30-6 p.m.
  • Lighting of the trees along Main Street at 5:30 p.m.
  • Parade on Main Street between Pine and Locust streets starting at 6:30 p.m.

    For those who walk up and down Main Street during the day or in the evening, there will be warm beverages, roasted almonds and other goodies sold at a concessions stand run by the Kiwanis Club. Also look for costumed carolers.

    Friday, Nov. 27 -- and even beyond -- will also feature the Big Red Stocking sale at many businesses. Where you see a red stocking hung, look for special sales inside. For your convenience those establishments will also be open Thursday nights.

    So, avoid the mad crush of shoppers bound for 'The Cities.' Come rub shoulders with your friends and neighbors, bring the kids if you have any, and spend a few hours savoring the friendly surroundings in downtown River Falls.

    And, whenever possible this holiday season, make some local purchases. Each is a boost for our community, the local economy and the people who work and live here.

    Yes, give them shelter

    The Journal's online poll question this week asked: How would you feel if an overnight homeless shelter with a 24/7 onsite manager proposed to locate in your neighborhood?

    So far the responses have gone this way:

  • If it's done under the right conditions and for the good of the community, supportive: 50.7%
  • There are too many safety issues and concerns about declining property values, opposed: 33.8%
  • I'm civic and opened minded and could be persuaded either way, undecided: 15.5%

    To add your voice, go to

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