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Guinness Import Co. this month hosts the first Bass Ale Comedy Festival in New York, featuring a series of free comedy events open to the public at Manhattan bars. The events, celebrating British humor, lead up to an admission-only "Grand Finale" event Oct. 2, headlined by Janeane Garofalo and a lineup of top local comedy performers. Consumers are invited to win free tickets to the finale and compete in comedy talent contests at each participating bar to win a walk-on role in NBC's "3rd Rock From the Sun."

MoneyGram this month launches a sweepstakes offering a pair of round-trip airline tickets to any country in Africa where MoneyGram has service. Running through November, the promotion targets customers who frequently wire funds to that continent. Admerasia, New York, handles.

Valvoline Co. this month kicked off its fall sweepstakes, themed "Catch the action" and giving the top winner an expenses-paid trip for four on a private jet to three college football bowl games. Other prizes include eight big screen TVs and 500 subscriptions to Sports Illustrated. Thousands of coupons will be distributed. Entry forms are available on-pack, at the point of purchase and

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