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GOTH FRIDAY: Friday goes to the dark side this month, dropping Halloween into the TGIF slot. And spooked by the economy or not, the holiday season officially starts with Big Pumpkin Day. Haunted house parties and costume bashes for kids and adults require a bit of ghoulish flair. So, here are some not-so-scary options for keeping the Halloween spirit real while doing your part to celebrate and shop locally.

EVIL SPIRITS: Need to bring a happening hostess gift but aren't sure what wine goes with your Sarah Palin costume? Don't fret. Pure Evil Chardonnay and Evil Cabernet Sauvignon fit the bill. Gorgeously packaged and deliciously appropriate for any occasion, these wines are available at Buster's Liquors and Wines, 191 S. Highland; $10.99-$12.99.

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DRESS UP. What's a zombie cheerleader without a naughty nurse riding shotgun or Deluxe Jango Fett to sweep her off her feet (that's right, Deluxe Jango Fett)? Whatever your masked desires — from sexy kitten to killer clown, slave princess to crocodile hunter — may the force be with you as you seek that perfect Halloween attire. All available at the Fun Shop, 634 S. Highland; starting at $30.

SWEET LIFE. Don't have a costume? Worried because that pumpkin sweater your mother-in-law knitted is starting to look like haute couture? Never fear — there's more to the holidays than fashion. There's food! Step away from the closet and head down to Sweet Bistro for a little Hallows Eve sweetness. Assorted delectables at Sweet Bistro, 938 S. Cooper; prices start at $7.

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Shop This is compiled by Shopgirl. E-mail with tips and suggestions for items to be promoted. Please send a daytime phone number and print-quality digital images for consideration.


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