When the days get shorter and the nights get cooler, thoughts of holiday shopping can't be far behind.
This Friday will be the final Merchants and Artist Walk for 2013, a signature event for the newly established Marietta Main Street. The nonprofit organization is committed to stimulating economic vitality, enhancing the visual appearance of downtown and generally helping to improve the overall quality of life.
"It's been a great year for the walk and the participation has been great," said Jean G. Farmer, executive director of Marietta Main Street. "We have over 38 participants with artists and musicians ... It's just a perfect time to get out and pick out that special gift."
The event is also the unofficial kick-off to the Hometown Holiday weekend events, which will include the annual Christmas parade on Nov. 30 and a visit from Santa Claus in Harmar Village, the Marietta Christmas Tree lighting on Dec. 6 and the very popular Holiday Loft Tours on Dec. 7.
"We will also have carriage rides this season at different businesses, starting on Nov. 30 at the CVB," Farmer said.
The Riverside Artists Gallery, 219 Second St., will have "putz" houses - traditional Christmas village buildings on cardboard - by Jean and Don Singer of Vienna.
If you go
What: Last Merchants and Artist Walk for 2013.
When: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday.
Where: Front, Second and Putnam streets and Harmar Village.
Nov. 30 - Marietta Christmas Parade and Santa visiting Harmar Village; Small Business Saturday; carriage rides for the season starting at the CVB.
Dec. 6 - City Christmas Tree lighting; Merry-Etta Moonlight Savings Sale from 6 to 11 p.m.
Dec. 7 - Holiday Loft Tours.
"They're really cute and festive," said Jane Ryals, an artist with the cooperative.
A new participant in this year's final Merchants and Artist Walk is the law firm of Bricker & Eckler at 258 Front St. The firm, which also has offices in Columbus, Cleveland and the Dayton and Cincinnati areas, had its official ribbon cutting ceremony in September for the Marietta location.
"This is my first chance to participate since moving to the area in September," said senior counsel Flite Freimann. "We are really looking forward to it."
The office will have three artists using different mediums in the foyer and upstairs areas. Visitors will have an opportunity to see the new addition to Front Street and to ask any questions.
"The reception from our neighbors down there has been unbelievable," said Freimann. "We are using this as a chance to give back and also to have some fun."