Washington businesses to hold Friday evening event, supply drive

Published 7:41 pm Thursday, September 20, 2018

While images of a flooded Washington remain fresh in the collective imagination this week, downtown businesses have extended an invitation to the public for Friday evening — come downtown, catch up with friends and help those in need.

From 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, local businesses will hold a Downtown Walkabout and Supply Drive. The event is organized by the Washington Women’s Business Cooperative, a newly-formed group of downtown business owners working in collaboration to promote economic cooperation in Washington.

While the event was planned and billed as a “shop and stroll” prior to the arrival of Hurricane Florence, the focus has shifted since the storm hit.

“We’re not expecting it to be a big shopping night,” Contemporary Art Exchange owner” Tina Jandrow said. “We’re hoping it will be a big community night, with people coming out, talking to people and being seen. We’re all kind of looking forward to that.”

While some shops will be collecting donations to get back on their feet, the big focus of the event will be a collection of household items for donation to Eagle’s Wings Food Pantry. Those who come out are asked to bring items such as bug spray, hygiene products, diapers/wipes or cleaning supplies. These items can be donated at The Contemporary Art Exchange, River Walk Gallery and Art Center, Grub Brothers, Little Shoppes and the Secret Garden Gallery.

While several shops will run in-house giveaway contests, the Co-op will also be holding one major giveaway for the evening, with one lucky winner taking home a basket filled with gifts from all of the Co-op members. At Wine and Words & Gourmet, a wine tasting with Kevin Owings of the Country Vintner, will take place from 4 to 7 p.m.

“All of the members of our Co-op have put something into this basket with a minimum retail value of $20 and up,” Jandrow said. “(Participants) can enter one time per shop with participating retailers, and we will figure out who gets that on Sunday.”

Participating businesses include: A Beautiful Mess, Secret Garden Gallery, River Walk Gallery and Art Center, Southern Nest, Little Shoppes, South Market Antiques, Wine & Words & Gourmet, the Purple Plume and The Contemporary Art Exchange.