Marietta's garden party has become a rite of spring for shoppers to travel up and down Front, Putnam and Second streets, Harmar Village and points in between, and this year will be no different.
"We've made sure we have our hanging baskets up," said ReStore coordinator, Debbie Florence. "This really is the kickoff to the whole (artist walk) series."
Wednesday afternoon artists with Riverside Artist Gallery, 219 Second St., were busy preparing a garden-themed display featuring the work of this month's featured artists, Betsy Cook, who creates ornamental ironwork pieces, and Todd Morrow, a wood and stone sculptor.
ERIN O'NEILL The Marietta Times
Todd Morrow, a wood and stone sculptor and member of Riverside Artist Gallery, eyes a location for one of his pieces carved from an old oak barn beam and a holly tree, in the gallery on Wednesday. Morrow’s pieces will be part of a garden party-themed installation on display for Friday’s event.
"Each month we have a featured artist and they get to have the space in the center," said Cook. "The artist comes up with the idea and, if there is more than one artist, they work together."
Such was the case for Cook and Marietta resident Morrow, who was adding a unique piece to the "house and garden" set-up.
"This was from an old barn that a neighbor had and this is from a holly tree," Morrow explained, showing a piece sculpted out of oak with a hand carved from the holly tree shackled in an antique Internet find.
If you go
What: ReStore Marietta Garden Party, featuring OSU Master Gardeners, vendors, music, food and more.
When: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday
Where: Downtown Marietta and Harmar and the armory lawn.
For information: restoremarietta.org.
This year marks the first Garden Party event at the gallery's new home. A fire in March 2010 destroyed the previous location on Front Street and the gallery was still trying to find a permanent home when the event was held last May.
"There will be plenty of food and drink and we really just want to encourage people to come to Second Street, too," said Cook. "We want them to broaden their idea of what 'downtown' is."
This will be the fifth year for the event which ushers in the official start of tourist season each year. It also coincides with the beginning of planting season. Several farm markets and vendors will be on hand, as well as the Ohio State University Extension office's Master Gardeners, who will be demonstrating how to make pots from newspaper, according to Eric Barrett, OSU Extension Educator and County Extension Director.
The vendors, musicians and demonstrations will be on the armory lawn this year and will be moved to Putnam Commons in the event of heavy rain or storms.
In years past, different participating merchants have decorated their storefronts and this year the tradition will continue. Displays will be officially judged and also voted on by shoppers and others.
Ballots are available at each participating location or at the ReStore table at the armory.