Ditch Black Friday and opt for Shop Small Saturday this Thanksgiving weekend - you'll help support local businesses in Palmer and you may find yourself a treat or two. Instead of fighting crowds at a big box store, spend your Saturday strolling through downtown Palmer, supporting members of your community.

Shop Small Saturday is a national movement sponsored in part by American Express to highlight unique, locally owned businesses. Downtown Palmer merchants have participated in the past, and every year it gets more popular. Not only will you find great deals at many of the shops, you'll also find owners who welcome shoppers with free cookies, coffee, cider and other treats.

This year, approximately 35 merchants are participating - a full list of deals can be found at the Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce's web site HERE. For example, the Musk Ox Farm is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and is offering 30 percent off all Musk Ox Farm Qiviut yarns and garments, and it's the only day of the year it is on sale. Other highlights include discounts throughout downtown ranging from bicycles to homemade goods, free gift wrapping and demonstrations at many of the businesses.

People who shop small will be rewarded by the Downtown Palmer Deli - they are not offering any specials for Shop Small Saturday, but they are offering a free cookie for every receipt you show. Shop at more than one location, get more than one free cookie!

After participating in Shop Small Saturday, don't forget to come back to Palmer on Dec. 7-9 for Colony Christmas!