Strolling through the streets of downtown Marietta and gazing at the storefronts is one of the joys of the holiday season.
This weekend, shoppers, merchants and artists will mingle one last time for the year for the final Restore Marietta Merchants and Artists Walk.
Parks Gallery and Studios at 112 Putnam St. will hold its official grand opening during the event, even though the gallery has been open since August and last participated in the Chocolate Walk, according to owner and artist, Gayle Parks.
"It was a really successful event, and I've enjoyed meeting the other merchants. Everyone has been so kind," she said.
Parks, who splits her time between homes in Athens and Marietta and has two art degrees, is a founding member of Riverside Artists Gallery, which will also hold an event on Friday. She and her husband, Charlie, have enjoyed bringing their business to the Marietta community and look forward to meeting new people.
"I love Marietta," Parks said. "I think it's funny that people always talk about the lack of traffic on Putnam Street. There is no lack of traffic. We are always busy."
If you go
What: Marietta Holiday Merchants and Artists Walk.
When: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday.
Where: Downtown Marietta, including Front, Second and Putnam streets and Harmar Village.
Thanksgiving to New Year's - Gingerbread Display at The Lafayette Hotel.
Thanksgiving to New Year's - Vintage Animated Holiday Displays at Peoples Bank, picture windows on the Second Street side of the main bank branch on Putnam Street.
Nov. 12 - Marietta Holiday Merchants & Artists Walk, 6 to 9 p.m.
Nov. 28 to Jan. 2 - Belpre Holiday Lights Festival, Civitan Park.
Nov. 27 - Marietta Christmas Parade, 1 p.m.
Nov. 27 - Belpre Holiday Lights Parade - 6 p.m.
Dec. 3 - Merry-Etta Moonlight Savings Sale, 6 p.m. to midnight, downtown Marietta; Marietta Holiday Tree Lighting, 6 p.m., Armory Square.
Dec. 4 - Victorian Tea, 2 to 4 p.m., The Lafayette Hotel.
Dec. 4 - Christmas Village Craft Show, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Betsey Mills Club.
Dec. 4 - Downtown Holiday Loft Tour, 5 to 8 p.m., Marietta.
Dec. 5 - Belpre Holiday Tour of Homes, 1 to 5 p.m.
Dec. 5 - Handel's "Messiah" concert, 7 p.m., St. Mary's Catholic Church.
Dec. 11 - Historic Harmar Village Holiday, 1 to 4 p.m.
Dec. 11 - Henry Fearing House Holiday Open House, 1 to 4 p.m.
Dec. 11 - Victorian Christmas Tea, 2 to 3 p.m., The Castle.
Dec. 12 - Victorian Christmas Tour, 1 to 6 p.m., The Castle.
Dec. 22 and 23 - Sweetapple Farms Live Nativity, 5 to 8 p.m.
Dec. 26 - Holiday Bicycle Light Tour, 7 p.m.
The gallery will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday during the event and feature James Robinson, a sculptor from the Athens area. Regular hours for the gallery are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and by appointment.
The Holiday Merchants and Artists Walk also kicks off the Hometown Holiday weekends schedule of events. Among these are carriage rides, holiday light displays, gingerbread house displays and parades.
"We want people to come downtown, and it's nice to promote the events to outside areas as well," said Lyndsay Offenberger, communications and public relations coordinator for the Marietta/Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.