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Originally posted in the Monadnock Shopper News

Thirty-eight dedicated Monadnock Region citizens have accepted the 2014 Indie Challenge.  Their mission: To fulfill all of their needs at locally owned and independent businesses during Independents Week, July 1 – 7, 2014.  Are you up for the Indie Challenge?  Read on to learn more.

While Independence Day is a time to celebrate our freedom, Independents Week is a time to reflect on our inter-connectedness.  Monadnock Buy Local and other local business alliances throughout the nation are celebrating the positive impacts independent and locally owned businesses have on our communities.

We ask you to take some time next week to acknowledge each independent business owner’s spirit of entrepreneurism, individuality and character; the way they give back to our community with their time, talent, goods and services; and how their offerings fulfill your needs.  Show your appreciation and thank a locally owned business owner during Independents Week.

Indie Challenge ButtonTaking the Indie Challenge, by making all your purchases at independents, is a great way to celebrate Independents Week. Sign on to the Indie Challenge today at monadnocklocal.org/indie-challenge or on Facebook.  We hope you’ll keep us posted on how it’s going.

If you get stumped, use our 2,414 Facebook Fans (and your friends and neighbors) to help you brainstorm possibilities at facebook.com/monadnockbuylocal.  Another great resource for finding independent businesses is our online directory, listing 258 locally owned businesses in the Monadnock Region.  You can search by business type, town or keywords to find what you’re looking for at monadnockbuylocal.wildapricot.org/Directory.

The Keene Downtown Group plans to celebrate Independents Week with us.  Stay tuned for how businesses on Main Street in Keene are marking the week!

Traveling during Independents Week?  Enjoy what locally owned businesses have to offer wherever you’re at.  Ask locals who their favorites are and look for networks like Monadnock Buy Local in the areas you’re visiting at amiba.net/about_ibas/find-iba and bealocalist.org/node/16/mid/36733.

Another fun way to celebrate Independents Week is to participate in local events sponsored by our locally owned businesses and the community.  Here are some ideas for each day of Independents Week:

Start off Independents Week at Orchard Hill Breadworks Pizza Night in Alstead on Tuesday July 1, 5 – 7 p.m.  You bring your own pizza toppings, drinks, picnic blanket, dinnerware and $7 per crust. Orchard Hill Breadworks provides the pizza crusts, cheese, and sauce and will cook your pizza in their new outdoor oven.  All profits for this night’s Pizza Night go to the South Acworth Village Store.  Call 603-835-7845 for more information.

On Wednesday, July 2 the Rindge Chamber of Commerce hosts their annual Family Festival and Fireworks at the common starting at 5 p.m. Fireworks start at 9 p.m. Visit rindgechamber.org for more details.

The fireworks continue on Thursday, July 3.  The Keene Swamp Bats offer fireworks at their game against North Adams at the Alumni Field in Keene. The game starts at 6:30 pm and the fireworks show follows: swampbats.com.

****IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM KEENE SWAMP BATS****

Due to the rain storm predicted to hit on Thursday night we are postponing the baseball game (will announce make up date later). The fireworks will be MOVED to Saturday night following our game against the Valley Blue Sox. All activities originally planned for Thursday night will now be held Saturday night.

A popular annual event for all ages is the 4 on the 4th Road Race in Keene on July 4th. Walk or run your way to the finish line while supporting a great non-profit, Pathways for Keene.  Register at tlaorg.org/pathways.  After a strenuous morning, relax under the stars at the Northfield Drive-In for a double feature movie.  See more at northfielddrivein.com.

On Saturday, July 5 at 10 a.m., Walpole Valley Farms invite you to a tour of their farm.  Discover how this amazing pasture-based farm works (Cost: $5; kids under 12 are free).  Learn more at walpolevalleyfarms.com/events.

The evening of July 5 comes alive with music.  Keene Music Festival’s Sumner Knight Series brings Ljova and The Kontraband to the chapel at the Woodland Cemetery from 7 to 9 p.m.  The suggested donation is $10 with all profits going towards the renovation of the Chapel. You can get a discount by bringing a canned good to donate to the local food pantry ($1 per can for up to three cans).   More at facebook.com/KeeneMusicFestival.  The Fitzwilliam Inn hosts Northern Stone from 8:30 to 11 p.m. ($5 cover) and starting at 9:30 p.m. at Harlow’s Pub in Peterborough the Ghost Dinner Band performs ($8 cover).  Check out monadnotes.com for more music events.

On Sunday, July 6 from 2 to 4 p.m., there’s an Ice Cream Social at the Sheridan House Museum in Ashuelot – a kick-off event for their 150th Anniversary of Covered Bridge #1.  Learn more at winchesternhhistoricalsociety.org.

Round out Independents Week with a round of dancing at the Monday Night Contra Dance on Monday, July 6, 8 p.m. to midnight at Heberton Hall in Keene (Cost is $3).  Visit monadnockfolk.org for more details.

“Independents Week is a time to reflect on the importance of economic democracy and community self-determination by celebrating the nation’s locally owned independent businesses and the stake each citizen has in shaping their hometown’s future,” said Jennifer Rockne, from the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA).

Let’s celebrate our independence and independents together!

Independents-Week-2014-Poster

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Originally published in the Monadnock Shopper News (MBL Media Sponsor)

Before you head out to purchase food to grill, flags to hang and cold ones to crack open for your Fourth of July celebrations, take a moment to consider that July 1 – 7 is also Independents Week.  That’s right, it’s IndepenDENTS Week!

What’s Independents Week?  “It’s a time to reflect on the importance of economic democracy and community self-determination by celebrating the nation’s locally-owned, independent businesses and the stake each citizen has in shaping their hometown’s future,” says Jennifer Rockne, Director of the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA).

Let’s celebrate our local independent businesses and how they give back to our community: their spirit of entrepreneurism, individuality, uniqueness, and character, the ways they give back to community with their time, talent, goods and services and how their offerings fulfill our community’s needs.  Let’s also recognize the independence of all of us: our ability to think and act independently and embrace our part in shaping the future of the Monadnock Region.

Here’s one way to celebrate Independents Week and jump right into shaping our community’s future: Take the Indie Challenge! From July 1-7, try fulfilling all of your needs at locally-owned independent businesses.  Sign on to the Indie Challenge today.  Be sure to keep us posted on how it’s going – email us at monadnockbuylocal@gmail.com.  If you get stumped, be sure to use our 1,443 Facebook Fans to help you brainstorm ideas. {As of today, 40 Monadnock Region citizens have joined the Indie Challenge!}

Which locally-owned businesses near you have what you need to stock your July 4th gatherings?  To get you started, here are some ideas from Monadnock Buy Local Members:

Purchase locally-grown meat to grill at the Hannah Grimes Marketplace, Walpole Valley Farms (their Farm Store is open on Wednesdays & Saturdays) & Mayfair Farm (find them at the Farmers’ Market of Keene on Tuesdays & Saturdays).   Pick up growlers of locally-brewed beer from Elm City Brewery.  Need American flagsEdmunds Hardware has flags and much more.

Some great events and offerings are also happening during Independents Week.  On July 4, the eleventh annual 4 on the 4th Road Race takes place in Keene. Walk or run your way to the finish line and know that you’re also supporting a great non-profit, Pathways for Keene.  Register at http://www.tlaorg.org/pathways.

On July 7, Walpole Valley Farms will host a Farm Tour. Meet farmers Chris & Caitlin Caserta and their animals, and discover how this amazing pasture-based farm works. Enjoy a free bowl of Walpole Creamery ice cream at the end of tour.  Learn more at http://www.walpolevalleyfarms.com/events.

Also on Saturday is the Peterborough Fireworks Show which includes food booths by local non-profits and live entertainment. Bring your admission bracelet to Joseph’s Coat before July 15th and receive 10% off your total purchase.  More firework show details are at http://tinyurl.com/Josephs7.

If your relatives are coming to town, or you are in dire need of a “staycation”, the Jack Daniels Motor Inn offers a Picnic and a Play Get-away Package in collaboration with two other independent businesses – the Peterborough Players and Nature’s Green Grocer.  This package features a specially crafted gourmet picnic dinner from Nature’s Green Grocer, two tickets to a Peterborough Players production and one night’s lodging at the Jack Daniels Motor Inn.

Another way to be an “Indie” and support your favorite independent businesses year-round is to become a Citizen Member of Monadnock Buy Local.  For $25, you’ll help us meet our mission, be listed as a citizen member on our website and receive an “I Support Monadnock Buy Local” sticker to display proudly.  Become a Citizen Member at http://monadnocklocal.org/join-us or mail your check to MBL, 25 Roxbury Street – Suite C, Keene NH 03431.

How you choose to celebrate, keep Independents Week in mind – and think local first!

Hearts and Stripes Petit Four birthday cakes in celebration of our nation from Sunflowers Restaurant

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