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Shop Local – Customer Appreciation Events Edition

Shopping local is key to a thriving community. As a way of saying “Thank you” to their customers, the following local businesses are having customer appreciation days this week.

Cielo Luxury Shoe Boutique – Located at 328 West Jennings Street in Newburgh, this unique store is hosting a Birthday Soiree on Wednesday, September 25 from 5-8 p.m. They are offering door prizes, refreshments and sneak peeks at new designs. Check out their Facebook page for more information.

MaryLena Boutique – Another local favorite of mine will be open later to help Cielo celebrate on Wednesday. MaryLena has clothing & accessories that are classy, yet stylish. Sarah, the owner, will always greet you with a smile and go the extra mile to make sure you are satisfied. Be sure to like their Facebook page to stay up to date on all sales and events.

Evansville ARC – The 60th Anniversary Open House Celebration is on Wednesday. It starts with a proclomation at 10 a.m., followed by refreshments and tours until 11:30. They will then re-open from 4-6 p.m. to welcome evening guests. Help them honor the past and celebrate the new look of ARC.

Thyme in the Kitchen – Venture over to the ever growing, always popular Franklin Street to check out the Fall Fun Shopping Event. The event runs from 4-7 p.m. The event includes appetizers, wine & cocktails, product demonstrations and special in-store discounts. While you’re there, be sure to sign up for your chance to win a “Family to Go” entrée from Culinary Innovation by Chef April Boeke. 

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Why shop local?

  • Small businesses accounted for 65% of all net new jobs over the past 17 years.
  • Small businesses employ 77 million Americans.
  • 89% of consumers agree that independent businesses contribute positively to local economies.
  • Residential neighborhoods served by a successful independent business district gained, on average, 50% more in home values than their citywide markets.
  • Independent retailers return more than three times as much money per dollar of sales than chain competitors. Independent restaurants return more than two times as much money per dollar of sales than national restaurant chains.

Keep It Local – Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights

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Last night, I was able to check something off my bucket list and help a good cause in the process. Win, Win! I toured the Easter Seals’ Fantasy of Lights at Garvin Park. Now I know everyone is thinking, “Really Missy? The display is up every year.” Yes it is. But it is rarely as stunning as it is right now with the recent snowfall. It was a goal of mine to see the lights amid a blanket of snow, but Mother Nature refused to cooperate. Until now…

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Santa & I are probably the only two people loving all this snow.

While the recent winter storm delighted snow lovers such as myself, it buried one of the most important fundraisers for Easter Seals. Between the snow covered roads and having one less week to showcase the display, admission fees were $24,000 behind the normal pace as of last night. Since I couldn’t call on Mother Nature & Father Time to cooperate, I reached out to everyone I knew and made plans to go see the “magical mile of lights” myself. The thought of tri-state children not being able to receive the therapies they so desperately needed touched my heart. (Did I mention I used to teach special ed?)

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Entryway to the display – The tunnel is gorgeous!

Upon arriving, I was greeted by lots of smiling volunteers’ faces. Yep, it’s staffed primarily by volunteers. Last night’s generous spirits were the University of Evansville Acettes. They were so excited to be helping out, despite the frigid temps. They gave me info on this year’s display and made sure I knew there were sixty-two (62!) displays this year, including a new Jack in the Box. They also pointed out that the famous wreath arch was now equipped with LED lights. I thanked them for their cheer and traveled the loop, holiday music cranked up and hot chocolate in my cup holder. 

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University of Evansville Acettes braved the frigid temps to volunteer.

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The wreath arch now features LED bulbs. My camera does not do it justice.

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The lights twinkling on the snow add a extra dose of cheer.

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Santa’s watching you from the beginning of the tour.

One thing I know is that the Tri-State is filled with caring, generous people. I am encouraging my fellow tri-staters to take a trip through the display this year and experience the holiday spirit in abundance, while helping the children who count on Easter Seals. Cost to drive through is just $7 for up to six people in a vehicle. Admission for vehicles with 7-14 people is $10 and admission for vehicles with 15 people or more is $25. Horse-drawn carriage rides are available nightly (weather permitting) for $30, which includes admission. It runs through New Year’s Day, but I encourage everyone to go while there is snow on the ground for extra shimmer.

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My personal favorite – The Wizard of Oz in honor of the 75th anniversary!

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