A special Saturday

Eight-month-old Ethan Thooft keeps a close watch on his new friend, Santa Claus, during the Tracy Area Chamber of Commerce’s Photos With Santa event at Greenwood Nursery in Tracy on Saturday. Photo / Per Peterson

The start of the holiday season is judged in various ways. For some, it’s Thanksgiving Day. For others, it arrives when radio stations begin looping Christmas music.

In Tracy, it’s Small Business Saturday.

The town was abuzz Saturday with a variety of events for both the young and young-at-heart.

The day began with the annual Holiday Bazaar at The Caboose, where some 40 vendors displayed and sold their wares.

“We want people to come out and support the community and local businesses,” said Tam Schons, who helped The Caboose owner Diane Fiegen with Saturday’s event.

This year was the 12th annual bazaar, all at The Caboose; it’s become a destination type of event on a day that is geared toward helping small-town businesses everywhere.

“The community and businesses are what give back,” Schons said. “It’s nice when people come out and support the businesses and help keep everybody going. Where would we be without the local grocery store, the local hardware stores, the paper for office supplies?”

Dale Johnson III owns the two hardware stores in town, and said traffic was on-and-off at Midwest Supply.

“A lot of people came in hung out for a half hour, drank some hot cider, had some cookies, did some shopping,” said Johnson. “Things are constantly changing here; we’re always adding new things. Last week alone, we got almost half of semi truck of Carhart and Under Armour stuff.”