It's a sure sign that summer is officially over and the Christmas holiday season has begun when ReStore Marietta sponsors its annual Holiday Merchants and Artist Walk.
This year's event, to be held Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. in downtown Marietta and the Harmar Village, is the kickoff event for ReStore Marietta's Hometown Holiday Weekends, said Mallory Greenham, the group's executive director.
Last year, about 2,000 people shopped the downtown area and Harmar Village on the day of the Holiday Merchants and Artist Walk, Greenham said.
"I think this (event) is a great way to either get a start on holiday shopping or wrap it up," she said.
The Holiday Merchants and Artist Walk is also an ideal time to visit the downtown area and Harmar Village and catch up with friends and neighbors, said Jimi Sell, walk co-organizer.
"Think about having a cup of coffee, walking the streets, enjoying the artists and what they have to show and buy, and just enjoying picturesque downtown Marietta," she said.
If you go
What: Holiday Merchants and Artist Walk.
When: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday.
Where: Downtown Marietta and Harmar Village.
If you go
What: ReStore Marietta's Holiday Ca$h Mob.
When: 5:15 p.m. Monday.
Customers at Twisted Sisters Boutique, 197 Front St., "really enjoy seeing everybody out on the street, and the hustle and bustle atmosphere," said store manager Jenny Phillips.
What's more, the walk is the perfect place "for getting into the holiday spirit," said Greenham, since most stores will boast festive Christmas decorations.
"You can stroll through the shops and get ideas for gifts," she added.
The Holiday Merchants and Artist Walk gives a shot in the retailing arm to local merchants too, Greenham said.
"This is a crucial time for local merchants. It's harder and harder for them to compete with big box stores that have severely discounted items," she said.
Along with refreshments, many shops will also have special sales and events during the walk.
At Riverside Artists Gallery, 219 Second St., shoppers can "give the gift of original art," said Greta Hanesworth, gallery member and potter.
"Our artists are making gift items from their original art that are $50 or below. They're great for gifts," she added.
Ornamental iron worker Betsy Cook of Marietta will showcase new iron work for the garden or home including glass topped garden stakes and tiles for her Tell Tale Towers.
Hanesworth, a Coolville-based potter, will offer colorful cappuccino cups with saucers and masculine themed mug and bowl sets.
Santa Claus will pay a jolly visit to Merle Norman Cosmetics, #6 Tiber Way from 6 to 8 p.m.
"He's made the effort to come out of the North Pole in November," said owner Sharon Shaner.