Sunday, October 28, 2007

Uptown Saturday nights

I am so jealous of this awesome event in downtown St. Augustine, Fla. It's called Uptown Saturday night and its always on the last Saturday of the month. That means one just went by on Oct. 27 and there will be another on Nov. 24. It runs from 5 to 9 p.m., its totally free to go,(even parking is free!) and they have all sort of nifty entertainment like shopping, live music, book signings and more.

The thing that caught my attention the most was the fact that many shops will hold an open house with wine tastings and refreshments. You seriously cannot tear me away from free food. I would also love to look around at the St. Augustine shopping because I have such a soft spot in my heart for antiques. My husband and I fell in love with an antique bud vase in Ellensburg a few years ago and I absolutely had to have it, never mind the price. (For some reason, I haven't been allowed to look in antique shops since then.) But not all antiques are expensive, and even the ones that are pricey are worth it, because by buying things that already exist, you're helping keep down the amount of new crappy, made-in-China junk that is shipped out to big box stores every day. If we stopped consuming so much, they'd have to stop supplying so much, you know?

I think that Uptown Saturday nights is a brilliant way to revitalize a downtown that needs a boost, or to just bring even more attention to one that's already thriving. Really, all you would need to get something like this going is the participation of the shop owners. And what shop owner isn't interested in attracting more business to their store? Once you have a big event going on, and everyone's talking about it, people start to remember that the downtown shops are there, even during the weekdays. My town could really learn a thing or two from St. Augustine.

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