Downtown Greensboro Inc. couldn’t wait for December to kick off Downtown in December.

Downtown in December, with a variety of experiences to bring the holiday spirit downtown, officially kicks off on Saturday, Nov. 27 with Small Business Saturday.  One of the features of Small Business Saturday is a downtown trolley that will operate from noon to 5 p.m.

Many downtown retailers will feature special sales and have extended shopping hours during Small Business Saturday.

DGI President Zack Matheny said in the press release, “Statistics show that for every dollar spent in a local business, 70 cents stay in the community compared to only 40 cents when shopping at a national chain.  Now more than ever, lets support our locally owned businesses and our community as a whole.”

The Merry Madness Passport program also begins on Saturday, Nov. 27.  Participants who spend $25 or more in a participating downtown business can upload a photo of their signed receipt via the Downtown Greensboro App to be entered into a weekly drawing for $500.  Plus, the business on the winning receipt will also win $500.

The more money you spend, the more times you get to enter. The first drawing for $500 will be held on Friday, Dec. 3 and the final drawing on Friday, Dec. 24, which may be a little late to spend on Christmas presents, but right on time for the after Christmas sales.

Piedmont Winterfest, the downtown Greensboro ice skating rink, is open in the Lewis Street parking lot from now through Sunday, Jan. 30.  The ice skating rink is closed to the public for the Curling League on Tuesday, Dec. 7 and Tuesday, Dec. 14 as well as a number of days in January.

The DGI holiday window decorating contest also kicks off on Saturday, Nov. 27 and runs through Friday, Dec. 31.  The public is invited to vote for their favorite window display via Facebook Poll.  The winning business will receive a cash prize.