OAKLAND -- Small businesses are offering an antidote to the crowded malls and doorbuster mayhem on Black Friday with a shopping event to support local merchants.

Oakland will kick off Plaid Friday on Nov. 29, an event that aims to spur the local economy and celebrate local artists by driving shoppers to downtown and uptown businesses. More than 45 local stores will participate and about 30 artisans will be sell their crafts at pop-up shops in Latham Square at Broadway and Telegraph, and later at downtown bars from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The event, an initiative of Oakland Grown, the nonprofit program that encourages buying locally made products, also features a winter wonderland festival in Latham Square from noon to 7 p.m. that will include live music, gift-wrapping and Santa's Village.

The free Broadway Shuttle will run on Plaid Friday from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m., and the East Bay Bicycle Coalition has a map to guide shoppers who want to visit stores on their bikes. The city will offer free parking at meters and seven city-owned lots and garages on Plaid Friday and Saturdays through the end of the year.

More information is at plaidfriday.com.

Contact Heather Somerville at 510-208-6413. Follow her at Twitter.com/heathersomervil.