Strabane retailers mark their independence with five day celebration

Strabane shoppers answered the call of local businesses at the weekend by coming out in force to support the Stars and Stripes Independent Retailers Celebration in the town.

The joint initiative by Derry City and Strabane District Council, the Strabane Business Improvement District and Strabane Town Forum hosted a series of special events and promotions to mark Independence Day in America by celebrating the success of famous local independent traders and encouraging consumers to make a particular effort to shop local.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh, officially launched the celebrations at the Strabane Market last Friday where he expressed his hope that the initiative would continue the long tradition of entrepreneurial success in the town.

“It is particularly apt for our local business people to mark Independence Day in America because one of our most famous entrepreneurs, John Dunlap, was the printer of the first copies of the United States Declaration of Independence,” he noted.

“It is often difficult for local independent retailers to compete with major multinational organisations but they play a key role in generating jobs and prosperity in our area and they can only keep doing that with the support of the public.

“This Stars and Stripes Independent Retailers 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.”

The celebrations began last Friday with the Strabane Market at the Alley Theatre Courtyard which included kids entertainment from balloon modeller of Britain’s Got Talent fame Ryan Tracey and animated characters.

Other events over the weekend included free tours of Gray’s Printers Museum, a public reading of the Declaration of Independence in the Alley Theatre Courtyard and live music by The Pulse Centre in Strabane Town Centre.

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