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Christmas events encourage Calgarians to shop local this holiday season

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Two of Calgary's most historic neighbourhoods kicked off their holiday seasons with Christmas events on Saturday. 

Inglewood and Kensington both welcomed in hundreds of people with free festive afternoon parties focused in on December's traditions. 

Carollers, sleigh rides, fire pits and Santa Claus greeted Calgarians to the communities, which have long been two of the city's most popular shopping hotspots. 

The executive director of the Kensington Business Improvement Area (BIA) is hoping people will check off their gift lists in her neighbourhood this year. 

"Kensington is an easy sell," Annie MacInnis said. "And for $1 you spend locally, that generates $6 for Calgary's economy."

"So help Calgary improve."

The Inglewood BIA -- and its local entrepreneurs -- feel the same way. 

"Your dollar does go really far in the community when you spend with a local business," the Caesar Shop's Rachel Drinkle said. "Honestly, coming down to my shop, I can tell you it's paying for my kids' swimming lessons. No word of a lie."

Annie MacInnis, the executive director of the Kensington BRZ, says every $1 spent locally generates $6 for Calgary's economy

Drinkle says her biggest obstacle may be convincing people shopping local doesn't necessarily increase the number on your receipt. 

"All of our small businesses here are really conscious of the economy right now and offering some great deals," she said. 

For both communities, Saturday marked the start of a month-long blitz. 

Inglewood's Christmas programming will continue every Saturday until December 16; Kensington's until December 23.

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