Originally posted in the Monadnock Shopper News
Are you ready (insert echo here: ready, ready, ready) for the Indie Challenge (challenge, challenge, challenge)? Forty-five of your friends, family and neighbors have enthusiastically answered YES! We invite you to join them.
What’s the Indie Challenge? It’s a challenge to fulfill all of your needs at locally owned and independent businesses during Independents Week, July 1–7, 2015. Sign on to the Indie Challenge today.
“I salute our community members and locally owned independent businesses who are integral to the unique flavor of Keene and honor their efforts to make Keene the place we want to live and work,” stated Keene Mayor Kendall Lane in this year’s Independents Week Proclamation. “As we celebrate Independents Week 2015, we acknowledge that the ability to choose the direction of Keene lies within each of us.”
While Independence Day is a time to celebrate our freedom, Independents Week is a time to reflect on our interdependence: how locally owned businesses contribute to a healthy community and local economy and how each of us contributes to the success of these businesses.
In addition to taking the Indie Challenge, celebrate Independents Week by participating in a myriad of events offered by locally owned businesses throughout the Monadnock Region:
Start the week out with some homegrown music at Fitzwilliam Inn’s Open Mic on Wednesday, July 1 from 7pm to 9pm.
Celebrate with a laugh or two (or more) at Walpole Valley Farms as they show the movie “The Goonies” in their barn on Thursday, July 2. The farm’s grassfed burgers and hotdogs will be available for sale, and popcorn too. The movie starts at 7pm and food is available starting at 6pm. Bring your own beach chairs, blankets and beverages.
Go back in time on Thursday, July 2 or Friday, July 3 between the hours of 11am and 4pm. Take a guided tour of the historic Wyman Tavern Museum and learn what it was like to run a family business in late 18th-early 19th century Keene. Cost: $3.
There’s a Local Food BBQ at Monadnock Food Co-op on July 3 from 5pm–7pm. The menu features Italian Sausage (with locally raised pork from John Davis in Surry), house made Beet and Black Bean Burgers, Orchard Hill Breadworks Bread, Salad Greens (from True Nature Garden in Keene), Gluten Free Pasta Salad with Arugula Pesto (from Old Athens Farm in Putney,VT) and Pea Salad (from Generation Farm in Concord). The cost is $9 per plate and there will be live music too.
Friday, July 3 brings fireworks to Rindge and Keene. The Rindge Chamber of Commerce hosts their annual Family Festival and Fireworks at the common starting at 5pm with fireworks at 9pm. Enjoy rock and roll, soul, swing and Cajun music with Tattoo.
The Keene Swamp Bats will offer fireworks at their game against the Sanford Mainers at Alumni Field in Keene. The game starts at 6:30pm with fireworks show to follow.
Race to the finish line on Saturday, July 4 at the “4 on the 4th” Road Race in Keene while supporting a great non-profit, Pathways for Keene — promoting the development, maintenance and use of alternative transportation in our city.
After the race, stroll over to the Farmers’ Market of Keene from 9am–1pm on Gilbo Avenue. Browse the bounty of locally grown produce and locally made products from local farmers and artisans — and cool down with one of my favorites, a Patti Jazzy Popsicle from Cheshire Garden.
From the Farmers’ Market, head over to the 15th Annual Harrisville Old Home Days and Arts and Crafts Fair, 10am–3pm. The day includes children’s games and crafts, live music, food vendors, Harrisville mill architecture tours and over 30 local artisans offering photography, jewelry, blown glass, wood products, homemade jams, local syrup, knitted items and more. Call 603-827-3094 for more information.
On Sunday, July 5, enjoy music from the Westmoreland Town Band 6:30pm–8:30pm at the Town Green Gazebo in Walpole, sponsored by the Savings Bank of Walpole. Bring a blanket or lawn chair. For more information, call 603-355-1602.
Mondays mean contra dancing! On July 6, join the Monadnock Folklore Society for their Monday Night Contra Dance 8pm–10:30pm at Nelson Town Hall. New to contra dancing? That’s okay! Just let the caller know. Cost: $3.
Finish Independents Week at Orchard Hill Breadworks Pizza Night in Alstead on Tuesday July 7 from 5pm–7:30pm. 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 Animaterra Women’s Chorus.
Traveling during Independents Week? Enjoy what locally owned businesses have to offer wherever you are. 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/localist-champions.
As you take the Indie Challenge, we’d love to hear how the challenge is going for you. Email us at email@example.com. If you get stumped, use our 2,857 Facebook Fans (and your friends and neighbors) to help you brainstorm possibilities. Another great resource for finding independent businesses is our online directory, listing 310 locally owned businesses in the Monadnock Region. You can search by business type, town or keywords to find what you’re looking for.
Choose the direction of the Monadnock Region, take the Indie Challenge, celebrate Independents Week and shift your spending to locally owned businesses everyday.