Another View: What could be more patriotic than shopping local?

Another View
By: Tony Hazarian, Auburn Journal publisher
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If you didn’t notice, Auburn has come alive with the arrival of warmer weather. The damp, gray spring that never seemed to leave only intensified our appreciation for sunshine — and the sharp greens, yellows and reds of our plants and trees. The street scene is just as lively. The Auburn Art Walk, presented by PlacerArts, kicks off another season of second Thursday tours tomorrow from 6 to 9 p.m. More than 30 venues in Old Town and Downtown Auburn will show works by local and regional artists. Cruise Nite returns this Friday night to Downtown, followed next week by Wednesday Night Live, an inaugural street party showcasing live music, food, vendors and more for six consecutive Wednesdays. Party in the Park, featuring country artist Billy Joe Shaver, fills Regional Park on Friday, June 18. Before you know it, June will give way to July and Independence Day celebrations. And while Tuesday’s election heralded the end of one political fireworks show and the start of another, there’s nothing like the Fourth of July to kick summer into high gear. This year, the fireworks will fly at the Gold Country Fairgrounds as usual, preceded by the annual parade hosted by the Auburn Area Lions clubs. The parade theme, “Youth, America’s Future! Celebrating 100 Years of Scouting” fetes the centennial year of Scouting. But the parade and fireworks extravaganza won’t be the end of the party, just the beginning of a weeklong celebration of local commerce sponsored by Think Auburn First. Business districts, automotive dealers, merchants and the Auburn Journal will team up with the “shop local” organization for Auburn On Sale, a citywide shopping event July 4-10. In addition to great discounts, deals and ramped-up service, Think Auburn First organizers want to remind residents that shopping local does more than keep our small and medium-size businesses open. It’s darn patriotic. Frequenting local shops is an investment in Auburn, from the streets we drive on to the public safety officers who patrol our streets. Shopping local employs our friends and neighbors, saves time and money, and lowers our carbon footprint. Auburn’s unique mix of businesses is one of its greatest assets. Family-owned jewelry stores, one-of-a-kind restaurants and independently owned shops and services give Auburn character you won’t find along Eureka Road in Roseville or Fairway Drive in Rocklin. While Auburn has had its share of business closures during the recession, it pales in comparison to cities that relied on national brand stores as the backbone of their retail growth. Drive once-bustling malls in some parts of South Placer County, Folsom and Elk Grove and you’ll see what chain store retreats can do to a business district. Shopping in Auburn is the right thing to do, but Think Auburn First and the Auburn on Sale event intend to make it fun, too. During the week, shoppers can enter a drawing to win “A Weekend in Auburn,” including a limo ride through Placer County wine country, wine tasting, dinner and breakfast at local restaurants and a night in a local hotel. Plans also include a dollar-tracking contest, sidewalk sales, and activities centered around specific centers and shopping districts. So celebrate your independence from shopping down the hill and enjoy saving a little green with your red, white and blue. In Auburn.