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Open Halifax: Celebrating Buy Local

Open Halifax was started this year to celebrate all the locally-owned stores and bring some much-needed life into downtown on a weekend when the weather was just starting to warm up at the beginning of summer. There was everything from free cooking classes at local restaurants, to free jazz being played at the local newsagent, and my favorite, free cupcakes!

The whole idea for Open Halifax came from a Twitter post and escalated from there, inviting locals to buy local and explore the city they live in rather than just running errands on a daily basis; it was a great idea and I really hope they do it again next year or even on a quarterly basis!

My friend Dayna and I, started on the busy shopping street of Spring Garden Road. Stopping at Victoria Park first to check out a charity event selling art. We then headed to P’lovers, a store selling environmentally-conscious products. Here I saw an idea that I decided to make myself; up-cycling an old plate into a chalkboard. We picked up an Open Halifax ‘passport’ that you were able to have stamped at different locations. They were also giving away free seedlings for the day!

Next we went to Wildflower Clothing, which had an ongoing sale, some live music playing, and were also giving away free cupcakes! We then headed to Duly Noted, a great little stationary and card shop. They were giving away homemade cookies with any purchase, and I bought some beautiful wrapping paper that I will be scrapbooking with.

Walking further towards the downtown area, we stopped at Pete’s Frootique, a locally-owned grocery store (and the only place I can find Vegemite in the city) here, where I had my first taste of fiddleheads, a maritime delicacy. We then climbed the windy Citadel Hill and then made our way down to Inkwell, a store selling print works by artists not only from Nova Scotia but from around the world.

We had hoped to get our tea leaves read, but the wait was quite long and thought we would have more fun by exploring more of the city. Heading down hill to the waterfront, we stopped at one of my favorite local fashion stores, which also sell fun things like the book about ‘Boo- the Cutest Dog in the World’, which I bought.

After making it down to the waterfront, we went for a stroll to Sugah!, an ice cream shop similar to Cold Stone but again, locally owned and they had a half-price special on. I felt very sorry for the girls working, having to scoop then smash mix-ins into the ice cream for the whole day, but they were still in great spirits! We walked for a fair bit more, then stopped for some good old Poutine for dinner.

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