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Strabane shoppers urged to choose local in celebration of independent retailers

22 June 2017

As America prepares to mark its biggest national holiday next month, local retailers on this side of the Atlantic will be celebrating their own independence with a series of special events in Strabane.

The Stars and Stripes Independent Retailers Celebration will take place from Friday June 30th until Tuesday July 4th and aims to encourage people living in the Strabane area to support local businesses and celebrate the success of some famous local independent traders.

The events are being organised by the Strabane Business Improvement District (BID) in conjunction with Strabane Town Forum and the support of Derry City and Strabane District Council and will include live music, entertainment and special in store promotions.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh, welcomed the initiative which aims to help build a sustainable and thriving town centre in Strabane.

“I am looking forward to the Independent Retailers Celebration which I hope will provide a welcome boost to locally owned businesses in the town,” he said.

“Following on from Strabane’s overwhelming vote in favour of the BID, there is a genuine appetite locally for promoting and support our independent offering.

“The five day celebration is a fantastic way of getting that message out there and encouraging consumers to make a conscious effort to shop local and support the town.

“It also represents an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the success of famous Strabane entrepreneurs such as John Dunlap and the Gray family of Printers.”

Born in Strabane in 1747, John Dunlap was the printer of the first copies of the United States Declaration of Independence and one of the most successful American printers of his era having begun the publication of the weekly newspaper the Pennsylvania Packet or General Advertiser.

During the American Revolutionary War, he became an officer in the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry, experiencing action with George Washington. He died in 1812, one of the wealthiest men in America.

The celebrations will begin on Friday June 30th when the Strabane Market comes to the Alley Theatre Courtyard where there will also be kids entertainment balloon modeller of Britain’s Got Talent fame Ryan Tracey and animated characters including Captain America.

Gray’s Printers Museum (Main Street) will open its doors to the public from 1.00 to 3.00 pm on Saturday July 1st offering free tours and encouraging the public to come and discover the Gray family’s unique story which incorporates entrepreneurship and emigration. 
Also on the 1st there will be a public reading of the Declaration of Independence at 2.00 pm in the Alley Theatre Courtyard and live music by The Pulse Centre in Strabane Town Centre between 1.00 pm and 3.00 pm.

Finally, there will be special offers and promotions from local businesses throughout the five days, check in store for details.