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In case you haven't yet extracted yourself from the nearest big-box-store black hole, Buy Local Week in Denver began on Black Friday and ends today. Devised by Colorado Local First and the Mile High Business Alliance, it was designed to draw attention to local businesses and the importance of keeping your dollars in the neighborhood, where they will do you and your community the most good. Independent, local businesses help keep the shopping experience fresh, especially during the holidays, and that, says Mickki Langston of the MHBA, is only the first of many advantages to patronizing them.

Buy Local Week also marks the launch of the organization's Buy Local Bingo holiday promotion, whereby shoppers can download a bingo card or pick one up at a participating business, and mark off squares whenever they make a purchase at one of those businesses. There are several levels of participation, with higher-value prizes offered depending on how many squares you mark off; the spoils range from gift certificates to the grand prize, a fifty-inch flat-screen TV. Woo hoo!

But tonight it's time to party: Langston invites everyone to a Buy Local Week Celebration at 7 p.m. at Swallow Hill Music Hall, 71 East Yale Avenue, featuring local eats and booze, a silent auction and outstanding live local music by Paper Bird and Bela Karoli. “We want people to see the impact of where our dollars are going and to also thank the community for all the support,” Langston says. “It's a way we can all come together and celebrate what a healthy local economy looks like.” Admission is $20 in advance or $25 at the door; reserve tickets at

Play bingo through the end of December; drop the cards back off by December 31 at any Denver Noodles & Company location. For your card, the rules and a list of participating businesses, go to
Fri., Dec. 3, 7 p.m., 2010


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