4.26.2010

Buy Local Bash set for May 2 at Proctor's Theater in Schenectady

Greetings! Stephen Shoemaker, online editor at The Saratogian, here. Mareesa invited me to contribute to the blog so items can get posted when she's off.

Here's a press release for an event that might be of interest to those who favor locally-owned businesses:

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“Buy Local” Bash Promises Free Drawings, Fun--Opposite the Schenectady Greenmarket

On Sunday, May 2, dozens of local businesses will offer samples and free drawings for gift baskets at the “Buy Local Bash” at Proctor’s Theater in Schenectady.

The free event is sponsored by Capital District Local First, an organization that is dedicated to the locally owned, independent business community in the Capital District. It is an affiliate of BALLE, the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies.

The Buy Local Bash will be held from 10am to 1:30pm in Proctor’s Theatre, where the Schenectady Greenmarket has been held all winter. On May 2, the Greenmarket will move outdoors to the area in front of City Hall.

“There will probably be over a thousand people at the two events,” said Greg Salamon, head of the Schenectady hub of Capital District Local First and an organizer of the event. “On that Sunday morning we’ll have two major events anchoring both ends of Jay Street with people going back-and-forth between them. Plus the Jay Street merchants will all be open as well.”

Salamon is also the owner of Ambition Café and head of the Jay Street Merchants association.

"We'll also have Joe Condon, who will do drawings for gift baskets," said Nancy Gould, president of Tough Traveler, a local firm that designs and manufactures luggage, backpacks, and other bags. "Tough Traveler will be giving away a Jiff Bag, Sprite Hip Pack, and Fitness Duffel. You can see pictures of them on our web site (www.toughtraveler.com). Plus there will be merchandise from other local stores in the gift baskets.”

Joe Condon is a radio host on WROW-AM-950 and WYJB-AM-B-95.5. There will be local musicians and dozens of tables with people from various small businesses from around the Capital District, with samples and give-aways.

“Locally owned independent businesses give back so much to the community,” said David Hess,” a board member of Capital District Local First and the event organizer. “They not only provide employment and services but also make donations to nonprofits and participate in all sorts of community events. Especially in a down economy, people need to be aware of how they can channel some of their consumer spending to the independent sector of our local economy.”

There will also be local musicians, including musicians from George Soros on classical guitar and the Jaqui Kraus trio.

“People can listen to the music and speakers, and they can also wander around and look at local businesses that are showing some of the special items and services that they offer," said Paulina Manzo of Plina Design, another Capital District Local First board member who has helped organize the event.

Another organization that has supported the event is the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation. “We are very happy to support this event that will draw wide public attention to the many improvements and new businesses in downtown Schenectady,” said James Salengo, executive director.

The event will take place between 10am and 1:30pm inside Proctor’s Theater on Sunday, May 2. The web site of Capital District Local First is www.capitaldistrictlocalfirst.org.

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