A recent national survey indicated nearly 64 percent of the average consumer holiday budget is expected to be spent online this year.

Anne Johnson, Redwood Area Chamber and Tourism director, wants to change that by sending a message to consumers about the value of shopping locally, not only during the holidays but throughout the year.

Many businesses are facing greater challenges this year due to lost revenue as a result of COVID-19, which makes patronizing local businesses even more important.

The holiday shopping season kicks off in the community this coming Friday (Nov. 20) when the annual Christmas by Candlelight event is held in Redwood Falls. Local businesses throughout town will be open that night. Added information can be found on the Chamber Facebook page.

This year’s event will be different than others, as state guidance is discouraging crowd gathering activities and events as a way to keep people safe.

One of the events that has become a popular tradition during Christmas by Candlelight is the Holiday Parade of Lights, which will be held again this year.

However, how the parade will be held in 2020 is going to be different.

This year’s parade is being held in the parking lot of Redwood Valley school starting at 7 p.m. Spectators who attend the parade will remain in their vehicles, and those participating in the parade will travel a route through the parking lot.

The parade provides businesses, community organizations and non-profit groups a chance to promote themselves. Registrations can be found on the Chamber Web site. The deadline to sign up is at 5 p.m. Thursday, November 19, 2020 (Nov. 19).

The parade units will line up in the lower parking lot at the school at 6:45 p.m. The parade will also be live streamed on the Chamber’s Facebook Page.

In addition, Cub Scout Pack 42 is hosting its chili feed Friday night from 5-8 p.m. at The Corner (located on the corner of Third and Washington streets). Dine in and take out options will be available for the public. Free will donations are being accepted. 

“In 2020, let’s make this holiday shopping season in the Redwood Area better than any other by focusing on supporting the very same hometown businesses that support our community throughout the year, with their generous donations and sponsorships of our community events, youth activities and organizations, and wonderful amenities in the Redwood area that we are known for and love,” said Johnson.

The community is invited and encouraged to take part in the Christmas by Candlelight festivities.

Learn more online at redwoodfalls.org/.