No fee to shop for locally made and unique holiday gift ideas, plus kids’ activities and electronics recycling

(Alton, IL) Alton Marketplace and the Sierra Club are teaming up to continue the tradition of “going green” this holiday season by encouraging a full day of local shopping, dining and entertainment in downtown Alton.  The 8th annual Green Gift Bazaar will be held on Saturday, November 27th, from 10am-8pm at the Community Center, 200 West 3rd St. in downtown Alton.

There is no entry fee to shop at the event, which features 25 vendors offering a variety of locally made and eco-friendly gift ideas, such as: art, ornaments, and functional items made from recycled or upcycled components, handmade fused glass and beaded jewelry, handmade clothing including tie-dyed shirts and organic cotton infant onesies, books, woodworking and furniture, earth-friendly products for your home and office, assorted styles of gift bags, shopping bags, and purses made from “jute” which is an organic sustainable crop, and much more. Plus, pick up the morel mushroom cheesecake spread that everyone has been raving about – put one in the freezer to use as the perfect Christmas appetizer.

New in 2010, the day following Black Friday has been named “Small Business Saturday”, as business associations across the country urge shoppers to think beyond the big box and chain stores when planning their holiday shopping trips. At the Green Gift Bazaar, shoppers will find sale information for the wide assortment of downtown retailers and restaurants to encourage shopping local and keeping your money “home for the holidays”.

While parents shop, kids can enjoy holiday films in the Center’s movie theater and create a take home nature craft. As an added perk, shoppers can enter their names into a free drawing for a basket of Watkins all-natural and organic products, valued at $65.00.

Bring your strands of burned out Christmas lights to be recycled and your name will be entered into a drawing to win energy efficient LED Christmas lights, provided by the Sierra Club. You can also drop off your old household batteries to be recycled along with small electronics (under 5 lbs. please).

To conclude the evening, visit the Jacoby Arts Center at 627 E. Broadway to hear the excellent chamber music of the Crusell Quartet performing at the LIVE at Jacoby: Last Saturday Nights concert series. Admission to the concert is $10; or $8 for seniors and students. Doors open: 6 p.m.  Concert: 7-9 p.m. Enjoy an intimate cabaret setting and a cash bar. 

Don’t miss this special occasion to share an authentic holiday shopping and entertainment experience in your historic downtown shopping district with family and friends. Buying local creates jobs, fosters community, and boosts your local economy. For more information please visit:

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