Happy Thanksgiving, get ready to shop local over the weekend by consulting the holiday issue of Shore; downtown parties galore in Crown Point, Valparaiso, New Buffalo, Buchanan and South Haven and don't forget the MSI festival of trees.

Shop Local This Weekend: Shore and Times Media's Lisa Daugherty launched the media campaign, “It Pays to Buy Local,” she did not expect that it would be easy working with 17 chambers of commerce drawing from a myriad group of businesses, but “when you say that $68 out of every $100 spent at a local business stays in the community,”that's a pretty powerful message to consumers and residents. (By comparison, $43 out of $100 spent at a national chain stays local.) When consumers go to national online retailers though, nothing stays in the community. In the latest issue of Shore you'll find dozens of local businesses in Northwest Indiana and southwestern Michigan with fabulous gift ideas from Fair Oaks Farm cheese (with a free shipping coupon) --- Fair Oaks aged cheddar is the best I've ever had --- to the detailed patterns and textures of the perfectly designed living space accoutrements at Bayberry Cottage in South Haven. And along the shore in between, novel gifts like a weekend facelift, inspirational wood furniture, a symphony season, the cutest reindeer ever at Sawyer Garden Center, a coupon for the Copper Butterfly in Crown Point, one-of-a-kind gifts at Harbortown Interiors in St. Joe, Blink Gallery in Michigan City and a Grand Party at Customs Imports in New Buffalo set for Saturday, December 1st.

Another Shop Local Promotion 'White Saturday' in Buchanan, Michigan: While Fernwood is closed on Thanksgiving, the garden reopens on Friday, November 23, with a new exhibit of botanical illustrations by Ann Tompkins on Friday, with a reception that evening from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.

And Fernwood Gardens urges you to stop by and them at SL Consignment Gallery on Front Street in Buchanan during the celebration on Saturday, November 24. Fernwood will be on hand to offer fresh made holiday wreaths and arrangements and refreshments by Chef Tim Carrigan.

On the Valparaiso and Chicago Front: Rick Soria and Scott Fech are hosting their annual fundraiser for Michiana Humane Society at their home tomorrow evening. Everyone needs to look sharp Shore photographer will be there. If you are planning to go to Museum of Science and Industry Festival of Trees on Saturday morning, I will be there with my grandson for the first time in a long time. Also, looking forward to seeing the train, which I just realized was overhauled 10 years ago, yikes! And the train now has an airplane---compliments of Boeing of course --- that flies from Chicago to Seattle. Clearly I have some catching up to do.