NEW ULM - While families are preparing for the droves of relatives that will arrive this Thursday for Thanksgiving, New Ulm stores and business are preparing for their own rush on the following day: Black Friday. The day designates the beginning of Christmas shopping and is typically the busiest day of the year for most stores.
Most New Ulm business expect a turn-out similar to last year,
"People are looking to buy the basic, household items. They are trying to stay away from the frilly things, because they don't need to extra stuff," said Toni Breu, manager of Runnings Farm and Fleet.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Santa Claus poses with a miniature horse named Lucy during the Brown County Humane Society’s fundraiser “Pose your pet with Santa” Tuesday at Shayds of Color photography in New Ulm Tuesday. The horse is owned by Barb Becker of New Ulm.
For more photos of this event, go to cu.nujournal.com
Other businesses are optimistic about people's desire to spend this year.
"Some consumer confidence is being restored and people are a little more comfortable with spending money," said Curt Lambrecht, owner of Lambrecht's Gifts. "People in Minnesota are always somewhat cautious with spending to begin with, but their general frame of mind has improved."
Betsy Pieser, daughter of Ben Pieser and head of Sales and Operations at New Ulm Furniture, said that consumers have become more willing to spend on things that make them happy. She said that she believes that they will spend more not just on Christmas gifts, but also on improving the interior of their homes in preparation for time spent indoors during winter.
Christmas Kickoff in today's Journal
NEW ULM - The Journal's "Christmas Kickoff" section is included in today's issue of The Journal. The section lists ideas for holiday entertaining and gift-giving, and includes 21 advertising inserts full of Christmas gift ideas and bargains.
No Journal on Thursday
The Journal will not publish a paper on Thursday, and The Journal office will be closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Journal's newsroom will be staffed after 3 p.m. on Thursday to prepare Friday's edition.
All businesses questioned expect how busy Friday will be will depend on the quality of the weather. Currently, the Nation Weather Service in Chanhassen projects that Friday will partially cloudy with a high of 20 degrees.
The New Ulm Chamber of Commerce and the New Ulm Retail Association are trying to encourage residents to spend their Black Friday in New Ulm and their money on local stores. They are jointly encouraging people to attend the many events occurring on Friday, including the 22nd Annual Parade of Lights they both sponsored. The parade begins at 6 p.m. and will feature over 40 lighted parade floats, as well as carolers, walking units and riding units. The parade will travel from Fourth Street North to Fourth Street South along Minnesota Street.
According to Chamber president Sharon Weinkauf, the parade will also usher in the arrival of Saint Nicholas, who will ride on top of a fire truck as the last unit of the parade.
Later in the evening after the parade, St. Paul's Evangelical Church and the Lutheran Ceili Orchestra will present "An Nollaig: A Celtic Christmas Carol." The event is an orchestra backed presentation of Christmas carols and readings with a Celtic twist. The free event will be located at the District Administrative Center and begins 7:15 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.) Food Shelf donations wil be accepted.
Also occurring during the day is the unveiling of the Menzel Christmas Village by the Brown County Historical Society. The Christmas village is a collection of figurines donated to the Historical Society by Louise and Walter Menzel in 1983. Since than, it has become a tradition for many families to visit the Brown County Historical Society Museum and view the village. The free event is located at the Historical Society Museum (on 2 North Broadway) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Josh Moniz can be