River District Association encourages holiday cheer and shopping local with Holiday Gift Guide, Shop Small Saturday, and Window Decorating Contest.

[DANVILLE, VA] –  The River District Association (RDA) is proud to announce they have once again been selected for the American Express® Neighborhood Champion Program.  Small Business Saturday was created by American Express in 2010 and celebrates the impact small businesses have on communities across the country while reminding us all to Shop Local this holiday season.

In preparation, 2021  Annual River District Holiday Gift Guide can be found in local businesses and was in the Sunday, November 21st edition of the Register and Bee.  It provides a directory of River District retail businesses, ideas for where to get gift cards, and inspiration for holiday shopping needs.  The guide lists information about retail and restaurant locations in the River District and gift items available from local merchants. The guide also provides information about the River District App: Distrx (, another great way to find what local businesses offer in the River District. 

"We are thrilled to once again be able to remind the community to shop small and support local with the downtown shopping guide that highlights the many businesses in the River District that offer unique gifts and personalized shopping experiences" says Diana Schwartz, Executive Director of the River District Association. "We know everything can't be found locally, inevitably almost everyone will make some purchases online or from big box stores. It makes it especially important to remember to buy local when you can, even gift cards keep more money in the community.

Additionally, the guide contains information about holiday events, and directions on how to vote for your favorite holiday storefront in the River District Merchant Window Decorating Contest.  This year, in addition to many River District businesses decorating their own windows, some businesses have adopted vacant storefronts to decorate.  The adopted storefronts are located along Main Street, and North Union street.  The Merchant Window Decorating Contest voting begins on Friday, November 26th and runs, through Thursday, December 2nd; the winners will be recognized at the annual Christmas on the Plaza event to be held at JTI Fountain on Friday, December 3rd from 5 -9 pm.  Danville residents and visitors can vote for their favorite window by visiting (link will be live on November 26th)

This year’s celebration is the 12th Annual Small Business Saturday, marking over a decade of support from American Express for local business owners. Since it started in 2010, consumers have reported spending an estimated $103 billion across all Small Business Saturdays combined. 1 That’s $103 billion toward helping communities thrive, spent over just nine days alone.  An average two-thirds of every dollar ($0.67) spent at a small business in the U.S. stays in that local community.2 That means shopping small could help bring things like better schools, smoother roads, and new jobs to neighborhoods across the country.


“To find out more about the River District Association, or if you have any questions, please visit

The River District Association was organized in 1999 as the Downtown Danville Association.
In May 2015, the organization was renamed the River District Association to complement the City’s River District brand and is an accredited Virginia and National Main Street Community.