112914 horseride2The clip-clop of classic horse and wagon rides is just one of the seasonal signifiers making an annual return Saturday. 

Just as the open-air Red Bank Town Lighting ceremony of Black Friday gives an electrified jolt to the turkey-fed torpor of Thanksgiving Thursday, so does Small Business Saturday sound the first real ka-ching of the primetime shopping season.

And when the shop-local showcase returns Saturday, it will herald a day of special holiday-themed features that continue every weekend through Christmas Eve, a slate of Santa sightings, holiday hunts, horse-drawn carriage rides, harmonizing performers, mobile mannequins and more — all designed to enhance the hustle and bustle of the shopping experience here in the the area’s undisputed Capital of Christmastime.

Retail merchants and service businesses all over the borough will be joining in the Small Business Saturday initiative organized by Red Bank Rivercenter, with complimentary Red Bank tote bags available (while supplies last) distributed by Barbizon School models stationed around town.

Meanwhile, beginning this Saturday and continuing through Sunday, December 18, RiverCenter’s annual Holiday Hunt promotion invites shoppers to visit more than 40 participating businesses to “figure out which holiday song inspired the window decorations.” Once you Name That Tune, you can enter to win a Grand Red Bank Prize Package. Pick up an entry form in any participating location, a complete list of which can be seen right here.

It wouldn’t be a silver-bells Saturday in Red Bank without the annual reappearance of Holiday Harmonies, the open-air smorgasbord of seasonal sounds that finds a panorama of performers (traditional carolers, choirs, brass bands, rock, folk, jazz and blues musicians) delivering holiday tunes in a cold-weather corollary to the summertime StreetLife slate. Enjoy the music from noon to 3 p.m. on November 26 and December 3, 10, 17 and 24.

Returning to the borough’s business-district streets, Classic Horse and Wagon Rides operate continuously between 1 to 5 p.m. each Saturday through December 24. It’s the best way to keep from “going buggy” at the mega-malls, with the excursions departing from two locations: 11 Bridge Avenue (near Danny’s Steakhouse) , and in front of Robinson Ale House at 26 Broad Street.

Keep it at Bridge Avenue inside the Galleria building every Saturday and Sunday (noon to 4 p.m.) through December 18, for the greater Green’s most popular Pictures with Santa promotion, with photo packages available from TSS Photography and more information available by calling (732) 530-7300.

The students from Barbizon of Red Bank return on Sunday for an annual Holiday Mannequins promotion that finds Barbizon’s best live models enhancing the colorful window displays of select downtown merchants, between the hours of 1 to 4 p.m.

Take advantage of free downtown parking on November 25 and 26, plus December 12 through 25 (as well as every Sunday throughout the year) — and keep it tuned to GO ON GREEN for a comprehensive rundown of holiday concerts, ballets, plays, parties, gift fairs, tree and menorah lightings and other events, all around the Greater Red Bank Green.