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Party Night to ring in the season

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Santa will make a stop in Crawfordsville and the doors will be opened on a revived local landmark as shoppers kick off the gift-buying season Saturday at Downtown Party Night.

The Thanksgiving weekend tradition kicks off at 6 p.m. for the tree lighting at the Montgomery County Courthouse, with retired merchant Becky Hurt flipping the switch.

Downtown shops and restaurants will be open throughout the day for Small Business Saturday, a nationwide campaign to promote shopping local.

“The statistics are out there. You attract somebody to [a] store, they may not buy anything that particular time but they’ll be interested to come back, especially at Christmas time when there’s gifting, they’re armed with a short list of things to get,” said Sue Lucas, program manager of Crawfordsville Main Street, which organizes Party Night.

More businesses are teaming up with nonprofit agencies to bring customers through the door. Nogginz hair salon is hosting an adoption event for the Animal Welfare League of Montgomery County. Journey of Hope Cancer Care Ministry will provide chair massages, nail rejuvenation and other pampering at Allen’s Catering Hall.

At the Masonic Cornerstone Grand Hall and Event Center, a group of preservationists will rededicate the building as a public venue. The group purchased the facility, formerly known as the Masonic Temple, from the local lodge and has begun raising funds for renovations. An account has been established through the Montgomery County Community Foundation.

“Our board is a bunch of people on fire about saving the building,” said Judi Kleine, the preservation board’s secretary.

Following a 5:45 p.m. ribbon cutting ceremony, the building will open for public tours. There will also be a free raffle of donated items and free refreshments.

A list of other Party Night activities include:

• Photos with Santa at Abbey Elaine Photography, 1 to 3 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m.

• Lew Wallace Hoosier Author Fair, 4 to 7 p.m., Fusion 54. Guests include Montgomery County authors Jim Barnes, Stephanie A. Cain, Jim Capehart and Marc Hudson.

• Christmas at Lane Place, 4 to 6 p.m., Lane Place. Free Victorian-themed Christmas event, live music, holiday treats and family-friendly activities.

• Hay rides from Tymeless Farms boarding and unloading at Pike Place.

• Free shows every 15 minutes at the Vanity Theatre.

• Humans United for Equality’s Holidays Around the World, 6 to 8:30 p.m., Dance by Deborah.

• Library Lane sponsored by the Crawfordsville District Library Children’s Department, Fusion 54 third floor. Activities include the Story Walk

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