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Yelp to Host Free Events to Promote Highland Park Businesses

The Highland Park business community is getting some help this week from a big-name source: Yelp.

The website frequently used to research restaurants and businesses in a community or city has decided to venture offline. Beginning on Wednesday, Yelp will be highlighting businesses in downtown Highland Park and the Ravinia Business District through a series of free events called Passport to Highland Park.

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The kickoff event on Wednesday night will be a Midnight in Paris themed costume party held at the Highland Park Community House. Mireille Hamon, former head make-up artist for Harpo Studio and owner of Mireille’s Studio, will be there. Food and drinks will be provided by Tamales, Abigail’s, Michael’s Events, The Cook Arriva Dolce and Samuel Adams.

The bash is just the first of a series of events that have been organized by Angela Shaffer, Yelp’s Community Manager for the North Shore. 

“Passport is put on by community managers in May all around the world to highlight the community,” Shaffer explained last week. “We want people to feel a part of their own communities.”

Shaffer, a Highland Park resident, is not new to working with Highland Park businesses. Before she began her job at Yelp, she worked for the Downtown Highland Park Alliance to help recruit retailers to the downtown district.

“I’m still supporting businesses in Highland Park,” she said, “and I’m supporting independent businesses as much as I can.”

Other events that Shaffer has organized through Passport to Highland Park include Sleeping Bag Stuffing Races at Uncle Dan’s on Saturday, Ladies Night Out at BloOuts Blow Dry Bar next Thursday and a screening of the Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris at The Art Center.

Also on the roster is the chance to get your portrait shot for free by Jeff Cohen, the former Playboy photo editor who recently opened a portrait studio in Highland Park. He will be hosting an intimate gathering in his Ravinia studio for an evening of storytelling on Thursday where one ticket winner will get the portrait experience. He’ll also review photo portfolios to those that bring them along.

Wednesday’s kickoff event begins at 7 p.m. To see the full schedule of events, click here.

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Mystic Maggie

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