A Nacogdoches favorite, Wassail Fest, continues to get bigger and better by adding more business participants this year. Nacogdoches Main Street and the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce are working together to bring more businesses, beyond the downtown merchants, into the wassail making and tasting event. For the public, that means more wassail to enjoy and more Nacogdoches businesses to visit on Saturday, Nov. 26., from 11a.m. to 3p.m.

"We are excited to be a part of Wassail Fest on Small Business Saturday!" said Tammy Stanaland Welch, owner of Laine's Hallmark Shop. "It means so much to us for our community to support locally owned businesses like Laine's Hallmark. We appreciate the opportunity to welcome our neighbors during the holiday season!"

In addition to Laine's Hallmark Shop, M&S Pharmacy and Gift Shop, Sparkle Boutique and Party 'N Things will serve up their best wassail.

Placing the popular shop and sip event on the Saturday after the Thanksgiving holiday is no accident. As one of the busiest shopping days of the year, the Chamber likes to remind all to shop locally. After the event, votes are tabulated and several businesses are awarded as "best of" in different categories for downtown merchants. Separate awards will be given to the around-the-town participating businesses for Unique Treat, Wassail with a Kick, Sensationally Sweet and One Cup Isn’t Enough.

"Our favorite wassail is the famous Aspen Mulling Spice, and we have a little secret ingredient that makes ours extra special. (We might share if you ask!)" Welch said. "It's a customer favorite year after year, and we can't wait to serve up a winner!"

The list of downtown merchants participating include Heart of Texas Gift Gallery, Wild Rose Old Time Photos, Art Exchange, Millers Point, Giddy Up Glamour, Dollheads, Brick Street Antiques, Texas Size Bling, Rachel's Antiques and Uniques, Glass Castles Stained Glass Studio & Gifts, Twigs & Tin, Yarnia, Falon Boutique, Spring and Prince, House of Traditions, Stuff N Such, Lost & Found, Rhinestone & Rifles, The Liberty Bell, Olde Town, Dolli's Diner, Rees Jewelry, Goodwill, Farmers Market, G Patterson Photography Studio, General Mercantile, Oldtime String Shop and Old Pilar Street Antiques.

Nov. 26th is Small Business Saturday®, a nation-wide celebrated shopping day created by American Express where shoppers support their neighborhood small businesses.

Shopping local means connecting with neighbors while finding the right things for the special people on your gift list. When you invest your time and spending locally, you are making a difference in your community.

Wassail Fest is sponsored by Citizens 1st Bank and is one of the Nine Flags Festival events. Find more about Wassail Fest and Nine Flags Festival and at the Chamber's website, www.nacogdoches.org, in the online community event calendar.