Moonlight Madness draws shoppers to downtown Marietta stores

Photo by Janelle Patterson Dalson Green, 11, left, and his brother Austin, 8, try on Christmas aprons at The Cook’s Shop in Marietta Friday during Moonlight Madness.

MARIETTA — Washington County turned out in force Friday night for Moonlight Madness in Marietta’s downtown shops.

Some were out just getting ideas for holiday gifts while on a date, while others slipped into town with friend groups or family to enjoy the crisp fall air, a carriage ride and the music of carolers. Stores were open until 11 p.m. and the night marked the last downtown First Fridays event of the year.

“We thought why not bring down the family,” said Stephanie Green, 37, of Waterford, who meandered through the downtown shops with her husband Ryan, 33, and their two sons Dalson, 11, and Austin, 8.

The family even grabbed a Grinch-themed apron from The Cook’s Shop on Front Street in preparation for their family get-together coming up.

“My brothers are coming down from Cleveland and we’re going to have a cookie making party,” explained Stephanie.

Photo by Janelle Patterson Shimmering ornaments are displayed at Simple Pleasures in Marietta Friday during Moonlight Madness.

Meanwhile Morgan Long, 35, of Marietta, was intently listening to his significant other Stephanie Winland, 29, of Marietta while they browsed through stores before date night at Austyn’s.

“I’ve been drooling over tools at The Cook’s Shop but I’ll wait until she’s not around to buy my gifts,” he said.

Then for Brandy Dibert and Becki Wallace, friends from Lowell, eyes were open wide in Simple Pleasures as they sought out unique items for people on their Christmas lists.

“I’m looking for everyone on my list, I don’t have anything done yet,” said Wallace.

“I’ve got two people I’m working on,” added Dibert. “I’m just waiting for something to jump out and grab me. I’ve already done all the Kohl’s and Amazon shopping I can.”

Kim Lewis, sister of Cheryl Lang, shop owner of Unique Flowers and Gift Shop, said she hoped the night would not only be fruitful for holiday shoppers but give newcomers to the store an idea of what’s offered in the store.

“I hope they see the unique wreaths and arrangements we make,” said Lewis. “We hope to be their one-stop shop for Christmas.”

Chelsea Warren, 25, of Whipple, said she made sure to stop in at Dad’s Primitive Workbench early in her night to grab about $100 worth of items before looking elsewhere for final needs for her book club’s holiday party.

“We exchange gifts based on the book we’ve read,” she said. “So a place like Simple Pleasures with the cute knick knacks is perfect.”

Even young ones were out grabbing small gifts for friends during the madness of the evening.

“She’s actually looking for a friend’s birthday present right now,” said Desni Crock of her daughter Bridget, 11, as their family looked through the stores, while dressed in holiday gear.


* The final First Fridays event of the year, put on by the downtown Marietta shops and Marietta Main Street, saw shops open until 11 p.m. for holiday present seekers.

* The next First Fridays event will be held Jan. 5.