Philadelphia is getting festive for the holidays, and Black Friday is a great chance to enjoy the scenery as well as partake in excellent deals at local shops. (Photo by C. Gabello for GPTMC)
Here’s something you may not have known: the term “Black Friday” originated right here in the City of Brotherly Love.
It was dubbed in 1966 by our very own police department, who used this originally un-endearing term to describe the massive amounts of disruptive vehicle traffic the city experienced the day after Thanksgiving.
By 1975 the term “Black Friday” gained more popularity, and the definition of it became more commonly used to describe retailers turning profits, or when they’re “in the black.”
Either way, Black Friday is now traditionally known here and everywhere as the day that officially kicks off the holiday shopping season.
Here are a few of those sales and happenings around town that you may want to take note of for this Black Friday, November 25:
• Bus Stop Boutique: Look for two happenings at Bus Stop on Black Friday. Running all day long, the “Black on Black Sale” offers customers 20% off all Autumn/Winter “black” styles. That evening, from 5:30-9 p.m., take part in the latter event, a collaborative holiday shopping party with Three Sirens Boutique. Receive free styling tips and learn different ways to mix and match the same holiday fashions from party to party without looking like a rerun. Enjoy “Little Black Dress” wine and nibbles while you shop and swap styling suggestions.
• Kevin O’Brien Studio: This high-end textile studio, specializing in hand-painted scarves, decorative pillows and bedding, is great for unique and interesting holiday gifts that you won’t find anywhere else. Their Holiday Sample Sale Pop-Up shop, at which their handmade throws, pillows, scarves, bedding, stuffed animals and more will be up to 75% off retail price, starts on November 25 and goes through January 15. Stop by on Black Friday and receive a special discount.
• Fire & Ice: Stop into Fire & Ice anytime on Black Friday to receive 20% off the entire store plus receive a free hand-blown glass ornament with a purchase of $100 or more. Shop before noon and receive a $25 gift card with a purchase of $75 or more.
• Free People pop-up shop at South Moon Under: Receive 20% off everything, plus receive free gift-wrapping, at South Moon Under on Black Friday. Check out the Free People pop-up shop that will be inside South Moon Under until December 15.
• Smak Parlour: Enjoy a champagne shopping spree and storewide sale, as everything from sequin tops, adorable gifts, accessories, little black dresses to jackets and more will be discounted. There will also be a Special Sample Sale, a $20 rack of one-of-a-kind pieces. Plus, get a beautiful silver or gold rose ring with purchase of $50 or more.
There’s much more below, including additional Black Friday sales, places to grab cocktails and snacks to take a load off and more.
• Majestic Clubhouse Store at Citizens Bank Park: Phillies Red Friday returns on Friday, November 25. The store will open early at 8 a.m. and feature Grand-Slam Savings until noon. Among the highlights: debut of Majestic Clubhouse Store Gift Cards, free Ryan Howard Action Figurine for the first 102 fans in the door, 25% off all Phanatic merchandise, two for $40 on Name & Number T-Shirts and $50 off any Mitchell & Ness Retro Jersey. The store stays open until 6 p.m.
• Wells Fargo Center: Comcast-Spectacor is opening the doors to the Wells Fargo Center at 7 a.m. for Black Friday door buster specials which include big discounts on Flyers and Sixers gear and an opportunity to purchase exclusive 2012 Bridgestone Winter Classic jerseys and merchandise. Get 30% off select items from 7-8 a.m., 20% off from 8-9 a.m., and 10% off from 9-11 a.m. Flyers alumni will attend the special sale and autograph gifts for customers.
• Arts on South: This innovative program that lends unrented retail stores to local groups to showcase their artwork, will celebrate “Fourth Friday” with a reception on Black Friday. Be sure to check out these participating galleries: Mighty Vision, featuring a new exhibition of original pages from 215 Ink’s comics and offering refreshments, original comic art that ranges from noir to sci-fi to intergalactic mayhem, and a chance to meet the team behind 215 Ink; Community Cultural Exchange, hosting a weekend-long Craft Bazaar; Neighborhood Bike Works and Dumpster Divers, featuring new works, live music and treats.
• Arcadia Boutique: Their annual “Black on Black” sale is back for Black Friday. They’ll be offering 30% off anything black and 15% off everything else. Hot cider (spiked or not) will be served all weekend.
• MAX STUDIO: Take 25% off all MAX STUDIO’s gorgoue dresses this weekend both in stores and online. Enter code MAXDRESS11.
• Macy’s: Macy’s opens at midnight on Thursday, November 24 to grant shoppers access to Black Friday specials literally on the first minute of the day. Get $10 off a purchase of $25 or more, plus great discounts on tons of items.
• Third Street Habit: Enjoy a 40% discount on all Isabel Marant, Wednesday through Saturday! (The store is closed Thanksgiving Day.)
• Manayunk White Friday: Manayunk celebrates “White Friday” with the city’s first Christmas Tree lighting, caroling, Santa Claus and an outdoor Bridal gown show by Nicole Miller. IT’S AT Canal View Park (Main & Cresson Streets), on Friday, from 6-8 p.m.
For the first time in the 21-year history of SEPTA’s Santa Express, Philadelphia-area families can arrive at the Gallery at Market East on Black Friday, not just in style, but for free, thanks to Constellation Energy.
On Santa Express trains, Santa’s helpers will spread goodwill by passing out goodie bags to children. The trains will be full of onboard fun, including magicians, face painters, costumed characters and, of course, Santa and the Mrs.
The schedule, and more details, for the 2011 Santa Express are available right here.
So even though we may have the same congested traffic issues of 1966, don’t let that spoil your fun day. Go out and shop locally and enjoy the merriment of Black Friday, with all its great sales and exciting happenings throughout our fair city.
And while you’re at, grab a cocktail or two to take a load off in between shops. A few suggestions:
• Liberte at the Sofitel: Take a shopping break on Black Friday with a special happy hour, noon-7 p.m. including great cocktail, wine and beer specials.
• Square 1682: From 5-7 p.m., you’re definitely going to need to take a load off from a day of hardcore shopping. Enjoy $7 signature cocktails, $5 wine(s) of the day and half-priced bar bites.
• Marathon Grill: With five locations around the city, Marathon’s a good bet for a snack and drink amid your holiday shopping. From 5-7 p.m. you can get $5 cheesesteak spring rolls & crispy calamari, $3 draft specials, $5 Stoli cocktails and $4 house wines. All day long, you can enjoy any of the delicious starters as snacks.
• Sampan: Right in Midtown Village, where much of your holiday shopping is sure to be focused, Sampan has an impressively length happy hour menu, in addition to a shareable tapas-style menu that makes for great midday snacking.
To search for more Black Friday shopping opportunities in Philadelphia, see below.
Old City District Shopping [Old City District]
Rittenhouse Row Shopping [Rittenhouse Row]
Northern Liberties Shopping [Northern Liberties Business Owners Association]
University City Shopping [University City District]
East Passyunk Shopping [East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District]
Manayunk Shopping [Manayunk Development Corporation]
Chestnut Hill Shopping [Destination Chestnut Hill]