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Five Reasons to Stay Local This Holiday Weekend

Skip the traditional Black Friday this year to enjoy some community fun and support local businesses.

This weekend, take a step out of the crowds of en masse Black Friday shoppers at chain stores and into the light of new holiday beginnings - by staying within the city limits of Lake Forest for all of your holiday fun this weekend. Here's the top five reasons why!

1.  There’s more fun to be had than dealing with the crowds.

“Traditionally, the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony kicks off the Holiday season. It’s a time for residents to welcome home family and friends for the Holidays and to socialize,” said Shelley Walker, Special Events coordinator for the City of Lake Forest.

This Friday, Lake Forest’s 29th Annual Tree Lighting ceremony on Western Avenue begins at 3 p.m. with a live ice sculpting performance by Art Below Zero.  “Master Carver Max Zuleta is ranked among the top ice sculptors in the world.  Max will be performing a live ice sculpting demonstration beginning at 3 p.m.  This is a mind-blowing experience you will not want to miss!” said Walker.

At 4 p.m., bring the kids to meet St. Nick, read him their wish lists and gain some photographic memories in Market Square. The lights finally come on at 5:15 p.m. with refreshments by Raging Kitchen.

2. Lake Forest businesses are ready for you with great deals, unique items and refreshments.

Don’t be afraid of missing out on shopping, because many local businesses are holding open houses Friday, complete with great deals and refreshments. Stop into Kerri Sherman’s Bloom & Focus to check out the new gallery and have some wine.

3. Save your receipts and get rewarded for shopping locally!

If you’ve spent more than $500 at local businesses and restaurants since September, gather your holiday shopping receipts and enter them in the Lake Forest Chamber of Commerce’s Shop Local First! Contest to win a $1000 Chamber of Commerce certificate redeemable at any Chamber member store or eatery in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff.

To enter the raffle, residents can bring their original receipts totaling $500 to the Chamber of Commerce office from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Chamber staff will enter them in the drawing. 

On weekends or after business hours, residents may bring their receipts in a self-addressed envelope to Pasquesi Home & Gardens Market Square, 695 North Western Ave. The winner will be announced December 15. For raffle details, please visit the Chamber website.

4. Check out the new Indoor Farmer’s Market on Saturday!

From 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the east Lake Forest train station in the Lake Forest Taxi location, 701 N. McKinely Rd., you can check out the new Indoor Farmer’s Market. Pick up some locally made holiday gifts including jams from Parterre Kitchen, soaps and lotions by Lonely Tree and many more. Click here for a full list of vendors. If you miss it, no worries – the farmer’s market continues every Saturday in December.

Lake Forest Taxi has renovated the space with vintage Lake Forest custom wallpaper, wood flooring, exposed brick walls, a custom built display case and barn wood table for the farmers market, according to Walker.

5. It’s a great opportunity to support your own community.

“This is a perfect opportunity to shop and dine in Lake Forest as well as enjoy the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony,” said Walker.

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