'They could really use your support': Raleigh Christmas Parade makes push for local small businesses

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- For years, North Carolinians have flocked to Fayetteville Street for the ABC11 Leithcars.com Raleigh Christmas Parade Celebration presented by Shop Local Raleigh.

There's no need this holiday to wake up early to come to downtown and fight for parking. You don't have to bundle up the kids, or lug chairs and blankets. The party is going virtual!

You can take in the holiday celebration from the comfort of your couch and 100 percent of the content you see this year is new.

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"Some of our entries have been able to perform and do a display in ways they've never been able to do it before, which is why we are so excited in how this is going to look this year," said Shop Local Raleigh Executive Director Jennifer Martin.

Azura Skin Care, for example, is doing a story book reading and putting their spin on a holiday classic.

Organizers hope viewers are not only dazzled, but inspired.

"Even though the parade may not be on downtown streets this year, you can still have fun with it. Go pick up donuts or pick up hot chocolate from a local business, bring it home. If you would ordinarily go out to lunch after the parade, still do those things if you can," Martin said.

The true purpose behind the celebration is to promote small businesses. Dozens of mom and pop shops participate in the annual event.

The celebration is always held the week before Thanksgiving to get people in the spirit of things and also remind them of the places to shop during the holiday season.

Those same small businesses now need help more than ever. Many spots have crumbled during the COVID-19 crisis.

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"Make a note, if you like something that you see in this parade, come out and see those small businesses because they could really use your support at this time of year," said Azura Skin Care owner Jennie Kowaleski.

The virtual parade is Saturday, Nov, 21 at 10 a.m. on ABC11. Tune in to see more than 75 business spotlights and performances.

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