Downtown Batesville Has Exciting New Event – “Shop Small Saturday” is November 25th! (Posted by Ginger Smith)

Merchants of downtown Batesville will come together November 25 to host “Shop Small Saturday” as a more community-focused alternative to Black Friday shopping.

(Picture above) David Thompson, third generation owner of Thompson’s Jewelry – a Main Street Batesville business since 1924, assists a customer with a watch purchase. Watches are the item Thompson chose to discount and promote as part of the downtown district’s “Shop Small Saturday” event planned for November 25.


The day – in contrast to Black Friday – aims to provide a slower pace and “less-stress” shopping experience for those looking to get a jump on holiday gift-buying following Thanksgiving.

Merchants are rolling out the welcome mats – literally. American Express, who helps merchants nationwide with ways to observe the event, has supplied downtown Batesville merchants will special materials such as blue welcome mats and free canvas tote bags for their customers.

The stores involved have different things planned, with some hosting open houses, others serving refreshments, and all offering special discounts and coupons. Some merchants are taking the opportunity to remind shoppers that when buying locally, the money spent stays and recirculates in the community, rather than leaving to another state or country.

Small Business Saturday will also coincide with opening day of “Hometown Christmas Saturdays” on Main Street, a Christmas celebration hosted by the Main Street Batesville non-profit organization that will be held 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. for the four Saturdays following Thanksgiving.

Locals can find more information on the Shop Small Saturday event on the Main Street Batesville organization’s website and Facebook page.

Ginger Smith joined OGTC in 2014 as a volunteer, and has lived in this area since 1972 when she moved to be near her parents, the late Doss and Vivian Burgess. Her late father was Independence County Appraiser and any time family, whether kids or grand kids, came to visit for even a short time, he would take them to A.D. Hill’s grocery store, and get them a soda pop and candy bar, see the talking bird there, and end up “checking out the great White River.” All the kids and grands have played on the banks there, picnicked, and played on the old train. Ginger is adamant, since she moved to Batesville, there is just no other place to raise a family. Her love for the area and desire to help promote it in her professional capacity led her to seek volunteering, and Charlie Morris, whom she met when she was a typesetter at the Daily Guard Newspaper, put her in touch with Cathy Drew, Executor Director of OGTC. She has been on board since then and says she has loved everything she has done and is proud to represent North Central Arkansas.
The last 20 years of her employment she worked for the late County Judge David Wyatt, West Elementary School Principal Jerry Harris, and Circuit Clerk Claudia Nobles and Judge John Kemp. At the Guard Office she says she made friends for a life time, and then the West Elementary teachers, students, and their families grew close to her forever. Her last job she was hired in a newly created position to collect felony fines and restitution. She was so proud that after three years she more than tripled the annual revenues that she retired! Her part-time retirement job was with the ortho docs, Drs. Allen and Angel where she also met many people from all over the area, and made another set of new friends! She is a published writer and has also written feature articles for the Batesville Guard TV Guide and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
She has a daughter, Misty Long Sparks, son-in-law Dloyd Sparks, and three grands, Dalton Lee, Victoria Lynn and Anna Rose, who own her heart, and three more heartbeat grands, Nico and Corbin of Washington, and a late granddaughter, Ginger Savannah. Her late husband, Ken Smith, was the Batesville Postmaster.
Totally retired now, Ginger offers her time and writing abilities to OGTC as she travels around the state and visits with so many nice folks, writes reviews, and tries to be a worthy representative for Ozark Gateway Tourism. She is a people person who really cares for all God has blessed us with in our beautiful state of Arkansas in the United States of America.