Small town, big deals

Avid shoppers and local businesses are preparing to kick off the busiest shopping week of the year on Wacky Wednesday.

From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, local retailers and restaurants will host a variety of sales and discounts with the goal of getting shoppers to go local before Black Friday sales.

This is the third year that Wacky Wednesday has been held in Webster City. The event was conceived by Mike Wiemann, owner of Critter Nation, and Kevin Rubash, Interior Design Sales Associate at Classic Carpet and Interiors. The duo expanded on the “Shop Small, Shop Local” campaign by American Express to encourage people to shop at local businesses on the Saturday following Black Friday.

“That whole weekend is about shopping,” Rubash said. “Everybody loves to get together, stuff themselves with turkey and pie, and then they want to go shopping. It’s entertainment as much as it is necessity. We said, why can’t it be Wednesday too?”

This year, Classic Carpet and Interiors is hosting a promotion where shoppers can buy $100 worth of Christmas merchandise and get $25 off. Rubash said shoppers there will have many items to choose from, including ornaments, Santas, dcor and more. The store has participated in Wacky Wednesday all three years, and Rubash said shoppers have responded well to the event.

“The first two years have had a great reaction from the public,” Rubash said. “It’s been very worthwhile to stay open late and have these promotions.”

Kathy Birkestrand, owner of Osweiler’s Fashions in Webster City, is also continuing her participation in Wacky Wednesday this year. Osweiler’s will have $30 off all of their big lines of jeans and all of their jewelry will be half price. Birkestrand said she was skeptical of the event when it was first introduced, but Wacky Wednesday has brought in droves of people looking for deals on Christmas gifts and new jeans for the winter season.

“It’s been very successful for us. At first, we thought all our customers would be home cooking Thanksgiving dinner and it wouldn’t work. But, we’ve had huge crowds both years,” Birkestrand said. “The people who come in have a great time.”

As the event continues another year, Wiemann is pleased to see Wacky Wednesday go on and is planning his own sales at Critter Nation. At the pet store, he said sales will include two dollar betta fishes, sales on dog food, cat supplies, all Super Pet brand products for small animals and birds, and lots of in-store specials.

“We’re working to make sure everyone has something to choose and make sure they get a good deal for any kind of pet they might have,” Wiemann said.

More sales are planned for Small Business Saturday.