There are 81 shopping days left until Christmas. Yes, you read that right.
Friday marks the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season as downtown merchants open their doors to shoppers looking for deals and sweet treats.
ReStore Marietta's annual Moonlight and Chocolate Walk will be held Friday from 5:30 to 9 p.m. in and around downtown Marietta and Harmar Village.
"(Shoppers are invited to) come down and visit a business (they) already know and love or find a new place they haven't been before," said ReStore executive director Mallory Greenham. "About 25 merchants will be participating in the event and giving out chocolate samples and discounts to those purchasing tickets to the event."
Tickets for the event will be available that evening at the Lafayette Hotel, where participants can also browse a selection of raffle items, including a grand prize of a pair of smokey chocolate quartz earrings custom set in 14 carat gold, donated by AA Baldwin's Jewelry By Design, valued at $1,000. The raffle will be held at 9 p.m.
Participating merchants include: The Lafayette Hotel, John Rossi Art, Rossi Pasta, My Favorite Things, A Unique Flower & Gift Shop, The Cook's Shop, Twisted Sisters, FOUND Antiques, Heart to Art Galleria, The Gallery, American Flags and Poles, Sugden's, Putnam Chocolate, Teri Ann's, Baker & Baker, Workingman's Store, Sammi Joe's Candles, Zide's Sport Shop, Marietta Adventure Company, Riverside Artist Gallery and the Galley restaurant.
If you go
What: ReStore Marietta annual Moonlight and Chocolate Walk.
When: 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday.
Where: Downtown Marietta and Harmar Village; registration at the Lafayette Hotel.
Who: 25 participating merchants.
Cost: $15 individual, $25 couple.
For information: ReStore, (740) 885-8194 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tickets are $15 for an individual and $25 for a couple.
Cheyenne Oaks, development specialist with the City of Marietta, said she is looking to get her husband a new pair of pants from the Workingman's Store on Putnam Street but also has an ulterior motive.
"Of course I'm going to get some chocolate," she laughed.
Oaks admitted she was also planning to do some browsing for Christmas ideas while downtown at Schafer Leather and also Turquoise Spirit, which is having a retirement sale.
While this is the first year Oaks has participated in Moonlight and Chocolate, she said that events like these are a good boost for the community.
"It definitely brings people out when they normally wouldn't be and it is good for economic development," she said.