Alexandria ready for Small Business Saturday

Old Town Alexandria is poised to welcome shoppers for another Small Business Saturday, with special events and more than 50 locally-owned stores participating.

The city will offer free parking at meters all day Saturday for shoppers and host several special events, including a Santa Stroll outside Penny Post and free gift wrapping and live music at the Torpedo Factory Arts Center.

Most of the activities are scheduled to run between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Anna Fitzgerald, owner of The Dog Park, says Small Business Saturday gives store owners a chance to show shoppers what sets them apart from malls and the big chains.

"Tomorrow's just another added day. I know a lot of the other stores in Old Town are doing experiences -- like a lot of the food stores are doing tastings and having chefs come in and people with certain expertise in whatever that particular boutique specializes in, so I highly suggest people coming out and seeing what the small stores are offering," said Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald is offering discounts and free items if shoppers spend $100 or more Saturday. They will also have an adoption event from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The dozens of other boutiques in Old Town Alexandria along King Street and beyond will be offering bargains as well.