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How to Shop Local this Weekend in the River Cities

After you've checked out the sweet big-box Black Friday deals, it's time to turn your focus to your local shops!

Some events over the weekend hope to capture at least some of your attention in Covington, Ludlow, and Bellevue.

In downtown Covington, a "shop small" event is planned with two hubs at Braxton Brewing Company (27 West Seventh Street) and the Gateway Community & Technical College TIE Building (516 Madison Avenue), where shoppers will find "swag bags" - tote bags with local swag inside. 

Gateway will also feature a pop-up ship of student entrepreneurs and artists.

At Braxton, you'll find coffee, beer, and live music all day long - as well as Covington Farmers Market vendors, and a gift-wrapping station.

Mainstrasse Village in Covington wants you to check them out on Small Business Saturday (November 25).

The locally-owned shops will be full of special gifts for peoplr you care about.

Meanwhile, the Village plans its annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Wednesday, November 29 at 6 p.m. Santa Claus will be there, so bring the little ones.

Fresh cut Christmas trees and wreaths will on sale from December 1 - 3 benefiting Boy Scout Troop 717. Find them at Steinford Park (the Sixth Street promenade) on Friday, Dec. 1 from 5 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Saint Nicholas returns to the Village on Wednesday, December 6, at 6 p.m. Look for him at the Goose Girl Fountain.

You can also catch Winterfair - the annual event showcasing local artists and crafters - at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center this weekend (Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In Bellevue, the Christmas Walk is back on Fairfield Avenue on Friday and Saturday, November 24-25, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

You can always find an eclectic array of shops, restaurants, and plenty of chances to win fabulous prices.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be out and about, and each business will offer you the chance to win prizes. The grand prize: a sparkling piece of jewelry donated by Cleves and Lonnemann Jewelers.
Bellevue is celebrating Small Business Saturday during the Christmas Walk with the assistance of American Express, and In Vue volunteers will have Shop Small goodies for visitors.

In Ludlow, Small Business Saturday (Nov. 25) will be hopping with live music, lots of charming boutiques, beer and spirits, and great food. Check out Elm Street from noon to 10 p.m.

“Shoppers can take pride in creating local jobs and supporting local businesses,” said Kim Powers Hoyt, owner of the Leeta Ruth Boutique. “We are thrilled to have just celebrated our one year anniversary and to be a part of the incredible momentum developing in Ludlow.” 
The BIRCUS Brewing Company will open its doors at the Ludlow Theatre for a Small Business Saturday Tap-room Teaser, where patrons can sample seven beers including: Breaded Lady, a German-style Kolsch and Atilla The Plum, a Belgian Tripel.
“BIRCUS has secured $325,000 from 98 investors so far... I am excited to be open for a tap-room teaser for people to meet our team and sample our delicious beers!” said proprietor Paul Miller.
Shoppers can also attend a pig roast in the parking lot of the Ludlow Theatre with locally-sourced offerings. The food will be prepared by Paysan Catering - owned
and operated by renowned chef Matt Allen - who has worked in high-end kitchens in New York, Paris, and San Francisco.
Second Sight Sprits will be serving bourbon, cocktails, and locally produced spirits from their distillery until 8 p.m.. John Winkle, who partnered with his brother to open the Jeff and John Winkle Studio on Elm Street, sees this Saturday as a great way to show what Ludlow has to offer.
“Things are really starting to happen in Ludlow,” Winkle said. “We have great beer, fine spirits, awesome food, and cozy shops that make our town the perfect destination for Small Business Saturday.”
In Newport, the Beary Merry Animatronic Christmas Bears are on display along and around Monmouth Street in downtown Newport where local  businesses and restaurants are open and ready to celebrate the holiday shopping season with you.
There will be specials and events across the downtown area and the Levee throughout the Thanksgiving and Shop Small weekend.
"Reminder: to save the brick and mortar our communities depend on Shop Local and support local businesses all year long throughout the city, because when small businesses succeed, we all succeed," said Bev Holiday, with the City of Newport.
In Dayton, the Dayton Holiday Market will operate on weekends at 635 Sixth Avenue. Uniquely crafted holiday gifts will be available there, and visitors can also check out the popular new restaurants like Hometown Heroes, Trotta's, and Purple Poulet. The holiday market opens Friday, Nov. 24 at 4 p.m. and at noon on Saturday and Sunday. It will have those hours each weekend through December 23.
-Staff report