Tempting chocolate treats and shopping deals will be the theme for the fourth Moonlight and Chocolate Walk Friday in downtown Marietta and the Harmar Village.
"The Moonlight and Chocolate Walk has been one of our most popular events since its inception," said Restore Marietta marketing committee chair Jennifer Offenberger, in a press release. "The event truly engages all senses. People love to taste and smell delicious confections while they mingle with friends and merchants and find great deals."
Registration will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Lafayette Hotel and shoppers will be sent off with their "Chocolate I.D." in hand to sample chocolate favors and special deals at 19 participating merchants.
For chocolate lovers who also happen to be candle lovers, first-time participant Sammi Joe's Candles will be offering chocolate votives for $1. The store is located in Putnam Commons at 121 Putnam St., where shop owner Joe Brandjes is set up right in the front window.
"This is new for me. I don't really know what to expect but I am looking forward to trying to get my name out there, to have a lot of people stop in and to get people thinking about the holidays," he said.
Brandjes added that there will also be a sale table at Friday's event and shoppers can expect to find everything from votives to jar candles, beads and candles accessories.
If you go
What: Moonlight and Chocolate Walk.
When: Friday, 5:30 to 9 p.m.
Where: Downtown Marietta and Historic Harmar Village; registration at the Lafayette Hotel
Cost: $15 per person or $25 per couple.
Details: Grand prize drawing of freshwater chocolate pearl necklace and bracelet from Baker and Baker. Drawing will be held at 9 p.m. Winners need not be present.
Participants: John Rossi Art, My Favorite Things, Turquoise Spirit, Gold Line Jewelers, A Unique Flower and Gift Shop, Twisted Sisters, Crafters Paradise, Fine Art and Framing Gallery, Town House, American Flags and Poles, Sugden Book Store, Teri Ann's, Baker and Baker Jewelers, Workingman Store, Sammi Joe's Candles, Fish N' Stuff, Marietta Wine Cellars, Riverside Artist Gallery, FOUND Antiques.
"I'm a big fan of Root Candles from Medina but I am also looking into getting locally made candles," he said.
And for those in the mood for making their own chocolate goodies, The Cook's Shop at 180 Front St. will offer 15 percent off everything in the store, excluding electronic items.
"It's our first time participating," said owner Dagmar Kupsche. "We were busy last year trying to rebuild (after a fire in March 2010) but I've heard from friends who have gone that they enjoyed it."
The decision to participate this year didn't really take much thought.
"We felt like we couldn't not participate. It just makes sense," Kupsche said.
For many of the merchants, including The Cook's Shop and Sammi Joe's Candles, this event is the unofficial beginning to the holiday shopping season.
"This is really kind of the threshold for us," Kupsche said, adding that several holiday cooking classes will be planned in the coming months, including Turkey 101.
Getting shoppers downtown to experience friendly customer service and all that small town shopping has to offer is the main idea behind this and other shopping events, according to Offenberger.
"We encourage the public to visit our historic shopping districts and enjoy a wonderful fall evening downtown," she said.
"Events like this are necessary for small towns to get people out of the malls," added Kupsche. "Anytime you can drive people to a location with events like Moonlight and Chocolate and can offer them an experience, I think it's worthwhile."