MT. PLEASANT — Main Street Mt. Pleasant invited community members to Wine About Winter at their annual winter wine walk last Thursday.
Lisa Oetken, director of Main Street, said the event has been held for the last eight years and generally brings over 100 people out to stroll the downtown area.
“We always hope it brings new people to the downtown and rings cash registers — whether it is the night of the event or at a later date,” Oetken said.
Local business owners had an opportunity to not only socialize with customers but also showcase some of their shop’s wares.
Sarah Lauer, owner of LillianGrace Boutique, who passed out wine from her store, said attracting new patrons to her shop is one reason she enjoys taking part in Main Street events.
“It’s great for the community to get people out and about. It’s also just a great way to showcase what we have — we’re getting new items everyday,” she said, “Every year we do things like this, so many people are like ‘I’ve never even been in here before,’ so it’s just great time to be like ‘come see what Mt. Pleasant has.’”
For new businesses especially, getting people into their doors is a plus. Mary Garmoe, co-owner of Batter and Dough, said even though the bakery has been at their location downtown for nearly a year, many people still don’t know they exist.
“It opens our doors to people who wouldn’t maybe normally come in and lets them know about us. A lot of people still don’t know we’re here — we’re coming up on a year,” Garmoe said.
Wineries across southeast Iowa also brought samples of their products and partnered with local shops for Wine About Winter. Dean Awe from Revasser Winery in Ainsworth was invited by his insurance agency, American Family Insurance, to partake in the event.
“It gets us some exposure in a market that’s really not that far away. A lot of times, people from the south go up to Iowa City and we’re right on the way so it’s just a way to get us some exposure,” he said.
While the event is focused on boosting local businesses, Mt. Pleasant residents also enjoy the opportunity to get out and socialize.
Debeorah Vroom said the event is a nice excuse to get out of the house and socialize, especially after the worst of winter has passed.
“I’ve been coming ever since it started,” Vroom said, “It’s the highlight of winter to get out when you get bored. You see people out and it’s in the evening and if you are into wine, you meet a lot of great winery owners or representatives.”
Beverly Ray added that “it’s fun to get out and see people.”
“You never know who you’re going to see. You see people that you don’t see on a regular basis, people you know, people you don’t know. Everybody’s friendly,” she said.