Retail Therapy: Pssst ... try the cherry Coke blend

Free refreshment: The annual free Slurpee day at 7-Eleven is slated for (you guessed it) Thursday, July 11 (7/11). All customers will receive a bigger-than-ever 12-ounce frozen slushy beverage, no strings attached. Flavors vary by location and may include cherry, pina colada, blue raspberry and Coca-Cola. Your humble reporter suggests a custom cherry Coke blend. Information:

Bargain playground: Krochet Kids, which creates economic development programs that allow it to sell apparel made and signed by individuals in Third World countries, is partnering with companies Sevenly, 31 Bits, Almond Surfboards & Designs, the Giving Keys, Toddland and URT Clothing for a sample sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at 1630 Superior Ave., Unit C, Costa Mesa. Enjoy savings of up to 75% off clothing, bags, phone accessories, handmade crochet beanies and more. Information:

Sole comfort: Island Sole, the popular Hawaiian shoe retailer, opened its first mainland location earlier this month at Fashion Island. The shop offers shoes and related accessories by lifestyle brands like Sanuk, Ugg, OluKai, Island Slipper, Havaianas, Rainbow Sandals and Freewaters, which supports clean drinking water projects. Information: (949) 760-0300 or

Designer deals: The Giorgio Armani boutique at South Coast Plaza is offering a friends and family sale from July 18 to 21, with spring and summer merchandise offered for 70% off. Information:

Lounging around: Need home furnishings? Chaise & Lounge, 67 Vantis Drive, Aliso Viejo, is having its July sale through the end of the month, with savings of up to 60% on high-end furniture. Information: (949) 643-2060.

Circle of life: The longstanding Character Depot, formerly Disney's Character Warehouse (an unofficial Disneyland outlet that has been a popular stop for locals and tourists), is shutting its doors July 27. Save up to 90% on clothing, accessories, toys and collectibles usually found only at the country's Disney theme parks, as well as other characters from Sanrio, DC Comics and other brands. Shipments continue to arrive, so stop by periodically if you are a regular shopper there. Information:

You got it (the right stuff): Get select tickets for Saturday night's "The Package Tour" concert featuring New Kids on the Block, 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men at the Honda Center for just $20 with code "TRAVEL" on More information:

Have a notion: The Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store at 9901 Adams Ave., Costa Mesa, will be shuttered by July 18. Other locations will remain open. Merchandise was up to 75% off as of press time. Information:

Fair free: The Orange County Fair opens Friday, and once again a variety of admission and wristband promotions will be offered. Active military and veterans receive free admission with identification daily. On Friday, admission and parking are free from noon to 1 p.m. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, get an unlimited-ride wristband for $30, sold until 5 p.m. and valid until 8 p.m. It also includes two free games. We Care Wednesdays include free admission from noon to 4 p.m. and one ride per person with donation, which changes weekly: On July 17, five cans of food. On July 24, bring one new children's book or three gently used children's books. On July 31, bring five new or gently used clothing items. On Aug. 7, bring one new school supply item valued at $5 or more. On Thursdays, kids ages 12 and under get in for free all day. On Fridays, seniors 60 and older receive $2 off admission and free Ferris wheel and merry-go-round rides all day. In addition, all attendees can try $2 Taste of Fair Food samples, rides and games from noon to 4 p.m. Fridays. On Saturdays and Sundays, get $3 general admission when you arrive between 10 and 11 a.m. Information:

Step right up: While supplies last, shoppers at The District at Tustin Legacy who purchase $200 in gift cards from the shopping center's management office will receive two vouchers for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey "Built to Amaze!" circus show, which will be at the Staples Center, Citizens Business Bank Arena and Honda Center this summer. Information: (714) 259-9090.

Don't have a cow: Chick-fil-A restaurants will commemorate their annual Cow Appreciation Day on July 12 by giving a free meal to anyone who arrives fully dressed as a cow from head to toe. Those in partial cow attire will receive a free entrée. Costume ideas are available on the website:

Semi-annual frenzy: The Nordstrom anniversary sale begins July 19, with special Beauty Bash events slated that day from 5 to 8 p.m. at both the South Coast Plaza and Irvine Spectrum Center stores. Customers can enjoy mini-makeovers and receive a special goodie bag. Information:

Have a hot sale tip, or know about a new local business that you think deserves a little attention? Contact Candice Baker at

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