RUSSELL -- The Friday after Thanksgiving means Black Friday to most, but several locally owned businesses in Russell are urging shoppers to celebrate Plaid Friday instead. Plaid Friday is a fun and enjoyable alternative to the chaos and dangers of Black Friday, and is designed to promote both local and independently owned businesses during the holidays.

Plaid Friday was first celebrated in 2009 in Oakland, a city known for strong shop local campaigns. The Plaid Friday movement is growing across the nation, and even more so in the Russell area. Hosted solely by Encore Antiques and Collectables for the past four years, Plaid Friday has expanded this year to include several participating businesses. The Russell County Convention and Visitors Bureau has stepped in to support the local Plaid Friday efforts by providing a limited number of plaid shopping bags filled with goodies and local information. Shopping bags will be available at Encore Antiques and Collectables starting at 10 a.m. In addition to the shopping bag, individuals will receive the Russell Plaid Friday Shop Sheet, outlining details about participating Plaid Friday retailers.

The name Plaid Friday was conceived from the idea of weaving the individual threads of small businesses together to create a strong fabric celebrating the diversity and creativity of independent businesses. By shifting 10 percent of all holiday spending to locally-owned and independent businesses, local communities receive a holiday gift.