Temperatures were below freezing and the wind was blowing hard, but instead of staying in their homes customers breezed into the stores along the square for the annual Twilight Shop and Stroll on Friday, Nov. 9.
The Shop and Stroll was presented by Main Street Washington and featured 17 local stores. The event was part of the SNOW (Showcasing Nights of Washington) series.
The evening sales ran from 5-7 p.m. and allowed for local businesses who do not typically stay open that late on a Friday, the chance to welcome new customers into their stores.
Ann Leet, owner of Needle and Thread, said the extended hours helped bring new people into the doors and strengthen their existing customer base by offering flexible hours.
Because her store is a specialty store, she said people do not typically come in on a whim, but by participating in events like this, the opportunity is there for customers.
Around the corner at Brown’s Shoe Fit, owner Brent Kromrie said he also sees a healthy mix of new and existing customers.
He said that by participating in the Shop and Stroll, businesses have the chance to support each other while customers have the opportunity to support the businesses.
“There’s a lot of smaller businesses, especially around the square, and this is just something to feature those businesses and let people know we’re here and open for business,” he said. “It’s kind of nice to let people see what’s new.”
Down the street at The Country Market, owner Gary Glandon said he enjoys participating in the events because it allows him the opportunity to help support local businesses and Washington as a whole. Glandon has owned his store 37 years and said the community support is what keeps it going.
“We all need to work together to support each other and we need to draw local business and local business needs to support us,” he said.