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Westside Holiday Happenings
The holiday shopping and dining season kicks off this weekend on Vliet Street.

Image courtesy of West Vliet Street Business Association.

Sure, the holidays are all about commerce these days, but on Vliet Street, at least it’s not the same old stuff. This weekend, check out the annual Westside Holiday Happenings event on West Vliet Street and North Avenue, Fri., Nov. 15 from 5-9 p.m. and Sat., Nov. 16 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. to find unique, locally-made gifts.

There will be holiday-themed open houses, crafts and activities at establishments on Vliet Street between 43rd and 60th Streets and North Avenue between 49th and 52nd Streets.

“West Vliet Street, a 1.5-mile business corridor, offers something for every taste, age and style – a children's bookstore, galleries that offer locally produced art at affordable prices, great dining options, a fair trade shop, custom clothing shops, floral and gift shops, and a resale shop,” says Heidi Steno, president of the West Vliet Street Business Association.

Since 1998, a critical mass of volunteers and business owners set out to re-brand Vliet Street as an up-and-coming art district. With passionate business owners and a dense surrounding residential area, the momentum keeps growing.

Santa will also be making an appearance on Saturday and will pose for pictures at four different locations: 10:30-11a.m. Four Corners of the World Fair Trade (5401 W. Vliet); 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Art & Soul Gallery (5706-08 W. Vliet); 1-1:30 p.m. The Salvaged Studio & Gallery (1409 N. 54th); 2-3 p.m. McBob’s Pub & Grill (4919 W. North Ave.).

Other participating businesses include: Barcelona Artful Living (5827 W. Vliet); Hayat Pharmacy (5928 W. Vliet); Himalayan Yoga Meditation Center (5000 W Vliet St); James Steeno Gallery (5700 W. Vliet); NEWD Clothing Company (5425 W. Vliet); Nomad Art Gallery (1407 N. 54th St.); Roots Underground Outfitters (5328 W Vliet).

And since shopping makes you hungry, I’d suggest stopping at two of my favorite restaurants – Café Perrin (5901 W Vliet St.) and Meritage (5921 W. Vliet), both featuring seasonal menus using locally-grown ingredients.

In the true holiday spirit, participating businesses will be accepting donations of new socks, mittens and hats for kids attending programs at the Urban Ecology Center at Washington Park. If you can’t make it to the event this weekend, donations will be accepted through Dec. 1.

Check out the Westside Holiday Happenings website for more information, an event map and more.

Hey you! Follow me on Twitter as @jkashou to stay on top of what's happening around town or search #GirlAboutTown.




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