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'Tis the season to shop locally

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By Dave Bell

With the Christmas season in Vandalia successfully kicked off by Vandalia Main Street's recent Olde Tyme Christmas celebration, it's now time to make the arrival of the season official. That will be accomplished when Santa Claus comes to town in this Saturday's Rotary Christmas Parade.

The 10 a.m. event, sponsored by the Vandalia Rotary Club, begins near the Fayette County Courthouse and proceeds east on Gallatin Street to Fourth Street, where Santa will exit his sleigh and visit with children in the Lincoln Park gazebo.

These traditional events also mark the beginning of the holiday shopping season. This year, more than most, it's important to support our local merchants. They are your neighbors and friends, and they need your business to survive – and thrive – in this difficult economic time.

Certainly, we realize that not everything can be purchased in Vandalia. But to keep our local businesses strong, we must commit to shopping here first. You'll be surprised by the breadth of the products and services available here – and they're backed by the service and friendliness of our local merchants. That's something the big-city stores and malls simply can't match.

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