MARGATE — Businesses and restaurants will be offering family-friendly activities, shopping discounts, a parade, carolers, giveaways, a holiday movie and more as part of Margate's Spectacular Small Business Weekend Friday through Sunday, Nov. 24-26.

The fun kicks off Friday with a parade featuring Santa Claus, Santa Paws, pets, Trinity United Methodist Church carolers, music, dancers and more beginning at noon on Ventnor Avenue from Jerome Avenue to Essex Avenue.

Pet owners can dress up their pet, walk in the parade and then head over to Essex Seafood to have a pet picture with Santa Paws hosted by the Pet Salon. Bocca Coal Fired Bistro will be the activity center for pictures with Santa Claus. Children will receive a free slice of pizza and a soda, and can participate in art activities presented by Anchor Arts, and receive free shopping bags. Adults can pick up a Margate Shopping Passport, which when stamped by 10 Margate businesses entitles them a free pizza at Bocca.

Bocca owner Lou Freedman is one of the driving forces behind the shop local, shop small movement in Margate, which is  ties into the American Express Shop Small campaign.

”Growing up here, my parents wouldn’t leave the island to buy anything, because they believed that Margate had the unique and special products and food that couldn’t be found anywhere else. It still holds true today, and we want to create a wonderful shopping experience for our community and its visitors," Freedman said.

Essex Avenue will be closed 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday for children to enjoy slides, obstacle courses and more in front of Colmar Home Center. At 4:30 p.m., families are invited to bring chairs and blankets to Colmar’s parking lot for a free screening of "The Polar Express."

Participating businesses and restaurants throughout town will be offering activities, food samples, discounts and more. Lucy the Elephant will be offering 50 percent off tours all weekend with a receipt of $10 or more from any Margate business. Free trolley transportation will be provided 11 a.m.-4 p.m. throughout the city. 

“This fun and very special weekend is a big thank you to everyone who comes to Margate to experience the uniqueness of what we offer,” said Hanna Newcomer of Scout Clothing and Décor.

At 5 p.m. Sunday there will be a Christmas tree lighting, and the menorah will be placed at Library Park. All are weclome to attend and to make or buy a decoration for the tree.

Organizations, bands, dancers and anyone who would like to participate in the parade can call Lou at Bocca at 609-823-2663. For information see margatehasmore.com.

Margate’s Spectacular Small Business Weekend is sponsored in part by Bocca Coal Fired Bistro, Colmar Home Center, Scout Clothing & Décor, Essex Seafood and 95.1 WAYV.

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Contact 609-601-5196 nanette.galloway@shorenewstoday.com Twitter @DBCurrent