Merchants host downtown-wide Christmas party, shopping

Published 8:59 pm Thursday, December 7, 2017


From Art on Market to Wine and Words, 30 downtown Washington businesses will be “jingling and mingling” tonight.

From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., merchants will be welcoming visitors to Jingle & Mingle, a night of refreshments, music, door prizes, discounts and chances to win merchandise.

“It’s like a Christmas party and shopping at the same time,” said Colleen Knight, an artist with River Walk Gallery and Arts Center, and one of the event organizers.

At River Walk, that translates to refreshments, 10-25 percent off all artwork; and for each $25 spent, a raffle ticket will be entered into a drawing for a custom cutting board and artwork. Across the street at Secret Garden Gallery, owner Barbara Hardy will be drawing a $50 gift certificate for one of the first 50 people through the door, a raffle for a $25 gift certificate for visitors throughout the night, as well as special discounts and music by a Washington Montessori Public Charter School violinist.

The idea for Jingle & Mingle was based on the Nov. 7 Fall Crawl, which another downtown business, Cottage Junkies, got rolling.

“We were talking about doing a Christmas party at River Walk. It just grew into the entire downtown,” Knight said.

“After the success of the fall crawl, we thought downtown was ready for another fun event like that one was; successful and fun,” said Barbara Hardy, owner of Secret Garden Gallery.

Organizers were aiming for a relaxing and fun night out, for both patrons and business owners: each store will offer its promotions, rather than all participate in one. Organizers also want to show off a thriving downtown — Knight and Hardy said it became apparent during the Fall Crawl that many people weren’t aware of how much downtown Washington has rebounded.

“I had people tell me, ‘I had no idea there were so many shops downtown,’” Knight said.

While the temperatures are expected to dip into the 40s tonight, Hardy said people shouldn’t let that be a deterrent.

“Don’t let the weather keep you away. It’s wintertime. It looks like Christmas outside. Downtown is decorated to the nines and it looks great,” Hardy said.