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Shopping News 

Gambit and other alternative weeklies across the country are urging their readers to spend at least $100 of their holiday shopping funds at locally owned businesses this season. Readers who log on to Gambit's Web site (www.bestofneworleans.com) and pledge to spend $100 at local businesses are registered to win gift packages that include a camera, spa services and more. Stay Local! also has been encouraging shoppers to spend their money at local retail stores and restaurants, and has set Nov. 22 as "America Unchained" day. It hopes that shoppers and diners will help pump $1.8 million into the New Orleans economy. The group also has suggested that business either offer discounts to shoppers on that day or donate a portion of their proceeds to a local charity.

Boesch and Company (495 W. Railroad Ave., Ponchatoula, 985-386-0471; 1403 S. Broad St., 373-6857; 2014 Magazine St., 679-6600) is having a 25-percent-off sale on all items from Nov. 19 until Dec. 24. Boesch and Company features furniture combining salvaged architectural materials and antique cypress wood.

The 2008 Fashion Forward "Tribute to New Orleans" event will be held on Nov. 19 at the Metropolitan (310 Andrew Higgins Drive, 568-1700). The event will feature local designers as well as fashions from South Africa, Chicago and Atlanta. DJ "Dynamite" Dave Soul will spin tunes, and there will be performances by the Zulu Connection African Drummers and stilt walkers. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $50 for VIP access, and can be purchased at the Ashé Cultural Arts Center (1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, 569- 9070; www.ashecac.org) or at The SPOT, NOLA (2518 Bayou Road, 404-983-7233; www.thespotnola.com). Proceeds will benefit the Sampson Park Recreation program.

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