Merchants and Artist Walk draws people to local shops

Imagine this scene: In spite of cool, rainy weather all day, Marietta’s shopping district was full of families and couples strolling the downtown and Harmar District sidewalks anyway. Artists of all sorts and of all ages were drawing interest all along Front, Second and Putnam streets from onlookers.

Marietta was buzzing with activity Friday night for the first of five Merchants and Artist Walk events. In all, 41 merchants participated.

Friday’s event expanded to the 200 block of Putnam Street, including Peoples Bank Theatre where people could peek inside to see the progress on the renovation project.

And there was a preview of a what’s offered at Thrive Cafe, opening soon at Second and Putnam streets.

There’s one additional Walk than in previous years, a sign that the events are popular with merchants who work so hard to put on the events and the shopping public.

This is a success story in the making and we’re glad to see it. Some people are enjoying the events so much they are making sure they get downtown to see what’s happening.

In an era when huge department stores and Internet commerce seem to be taking over the retail world, it’s heartening to see shops that can offer a hometown touch in a central location attracting interest.

Friday’s Walk, no doubt, was helped by good timing with Marietta College parents coming into town for graduation weekend. Still, there were plenty of area shoppers out Friday, too.

If you missed Friday’s Walk we urge you to make plans to check out any of the upcoming events. They are June 14, July 12, Aug. 9, and (a special for early Christmas shoppers) Nov. 8.

We’re sure you’ll have fun and you might even spend some money on a unique item you can proudly say, “I bought it in Marietta.”