Downtown businesses partner for monthly shopping events

A collection of downtown businesses is making plans for a special shopping event next Saturday.

Debra Platt, the spokesperson and organizer for the informal groups, said the growth of the downtown business community has encouraged some owners in the area to band together and host events during the “off months” when the Main Street Winchester program does not have anything planned.

“We’re trying to send the message that there’s always something going on downtown,” Platt said.

She said the participating owners have been meeting and communicating online to develop shopping events that will help bring people downtown when there isn’t another event going on.

Next Saturday’s event, called Downtown MAYhem, is scheduled the day after Rock the Block.

Participating businesses will have special balloons outside their stores indicating they are part of the MAYhem, and they will be offering unique specials between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Platt said that at least 21 businesses will be participating in the event, including restaurants and retail stores.

“There will be some sidewalk sales and special promotions,” Platt said. “This was a coming together to provide downtown choices.”

The theme of the event, she said, will be “breaking the shopping mold.”

She said a wave of new food and retailers in the area have helped make downtown more of a destination.

“We’ve had several new businesses downtown in the summer season that we just didn’t have a year ago,” Platt said.

Platt said this is the first event of its kind that the businesses have organized themselves, but if the response is good it won’t be the last.