Downtown merchants welcome shoppers at Sip and Shop

Asia Ashley Daily News

November 25, 2013

Downtown shoppers enjoyed wine and bagains during Sip and Shop in downtown LaGrange Friday evening.

Nineteen downtown businesses welcomed shoppers starting at 5 p.m to shop while sampling a variety of wines inside their venues.

Shopper Yolanda Beckham said the event, which she has attended every year, is a fun girls’ night out for her and her friends.

“It’s a fun group night for ladies because we get to do our favorite things, shop, sip wine, talk and laugh,” said Beckham. “You get to see and talk to everybody.”

Sip and Shop gives Katha Loyd “Christmas ideas” while also enjoying time with friends.

“I like to see the Christmas decorations and get ideas for decorating and gifts,” Loyd said. “And I love tasting all the different kinds of wine while doing so.”

Many downtown merchants look forward to the event, which kicks of the busiest shopping season of the year.

“Most merchants would probably say that we bank on this weekend,” said co-owner of Bradley’s Antiques & More Angie Bradley. “It’s one of our biggest events. It brings out a lot of couples. It’s like a date night for them. And the good thing is they’re not just drinking, their shopping.”

“It seems like every year it gets a little bigger,” said Whimzey owner Kesha Edwards. “It does do great business for us. It brings a lot of people out who didn’t realize we were here. It’s always fun to see people get to have fun. It’s kinda a kick-off to Christmas season to get people excited.”

Whimzey gift certificates were given away during the event, and shoppers were able to prepare for Whimzey’s big sale on Thanksgiving, from 3 p.m to 6 p.m.

“We’re the only downtown store open on Thanksgiving, so a lot of shoppers come in this weekend to preview our merchandise,” Edwards said.

The event, sponsored by Downtown Package store and the Downtown LaGrange Development Authority, benefited Big Brothers Big Sisters. Downtown LaGrange Development Authority director Barbie Watts was pleased with the turnout this year.

“We had a much better turnout than last year,” she said. “It gives the community an opportunity to shop after hours and it’s a way to generate traffic into our downtown area while helping a local charity.”