Temperatures in the 20s Didn't Freeze Out Thursday Night Shoppers
Temperatures in the low 20s didn't dampen the enthusiasm of local shoppers on Thursday night, where merchants were delighted with the turnout for the first year holiday event.
The coldest night of the season so far this winter did not keep people from bundling up for an evening of local shopping and festivities on Thursday.
"We've been meeting every other Friday night for the last three months planning tonight's events," said Robinson, also noting they have informally named the group the Hamilton-Wenham Retail Association.
Having tried for several years to bring the retailers together, Thursday night was very well received by shoppers and vendors alike, he said.
"Around 6 (p.m.) we had about 35 people in the store," said Robinson.
Maureen Klein, manager at Talbot's, reported a steady stream of shoppers all night.
Kathie Gauthier, owner of Zazou's, noted that at least 15 people claimed that they didn't even know the gift shops at 300 Main Street in Wenham were there.
Gauthier was also delighted to see the varied demographics of Thursday night's shoppers.
"We saw people from their 20s to the 70s and 80s," Gauthier said.
The retail association plans to have a store map created for the stretch of Route 1A from Ipswich to Beverly and possibly host another even in the spring, according to Robinson.
Just up the street at the Wenham Tea House, another shopping event drew people indoors.
Barbara Locke, president of the Wenham Village Improvement Society, and Cori Shea, a WVIS board member, greeted visitors at the Second Annual Shop and Sip.
"We want to encourage people to shop local," said Locke, "and to involve the entire community."
The Shop and Sip event included the Wenham Tea House's Irresistibles shop as well as handcrafters from Hamilton, Wenham and neighboring towns such as Ipswich, Newburyport and Boxford.
The contest that has downtown shoppers getting a raffle card validated by Christmas in the Village vendors, continues through Sunday to be entered in the raffle for a $300 and $220 local shopping spree.