The Village of Dexter officially kicks off the Christmas season this week with the annual Christmas tree lighting at Monument Park on Saturday.
The tree lighting will cap off the day-long Winter Festival sponsored by the Dexter Area Chamber of Commerce.
"The Winter Festival is our way of trying to engage the business community without asking them to spend extra money or working any harder than they already do," Abby Goldberg, executive director of the DACC said.
The event will take place from 10 a.m to dusk, with caroling and the tree lighting scheduled for around 5:30 p.m. in Monument Park.
Throughout the day, several activities will be held at local businesses, including a coloring contest at Aubree's Pizzeria, story time at Dexter's Pub, and visits with Santa at the gazebo in Monument Park from noon to 3 p.m. Various businesses will offer sales specials and giveaways for customers as well to coincide with Small Business Saturday.
"The whole Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale has spiraled out of control as evidenced by the fact that more businesses are opting to open earlier on Thanksgiving," Goldberg said. "People are getting too overwhelmed with how commercial the holidays have become.
"Small Business Saturday is not only about shopping local, its about doing a fun activity with your family."
That's why Goldberg said local businesses should not just focus on sales this weekend.
"Do something special for your customers," she said. "If they are impressed with your customer service, people will remember that the next time they are shopping for a gift."
As part of this year's festivities, chamber members will auction off decorated holiday wreaths to benefit Faith in Action. Customers can bid on the wreaths, which will be on display on downtown business doors and in Monument Park, throughout the afternoon.
For more information about the Winter Festival, or to view a full schedule of events, visit the chamber's website, http://www.dexterchamber.org.