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Billed as an alternative to the crass commercialism (not to mention the shoppers feeding frenzy) of the busiest retail day of the year, the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center's annual Peace Market, held the Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving, is like a gigantic garage sale-meets flea market for the progressively minded and artistic set.

Thursday, November 26
& Friday, November 27
Free admission
Esperanza Peace & Justice Center
922 San Pedro
Like the Sunday-morning pulga, there is some trash, lots of treasures, and quite a few treats. Although you may not get exactly what you want, there is bound to be something that suits your tastes (and price range). Browse through the vendors' wares, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy the day in the company of good friends and great art.

Above all, shop with a clean conscience. In addition to supporting the Center, when you buy from the Peace Market, your money goes directly to the artists - instead of some corporate conglomerate paying workers sweatshop wages. And that's not a gift you're likely to find at any mall.

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