Main Street Portsmouth (MSP) hosted their annual Ellen Vetter Chocolate Walk, Feb. 4, 2017. Despite the chilly temperatures, many rallied behind the event, lining up outside of the first official stop, Port City Cafe and Pub.
“The chocolate walk continues to be Main Street’s most anticipated event. The community has really embraced the tour of shops to see the various good and services and have a sweet treat in the process. We had over 300 guests this year and it continues to grow,” said MSP Executive Director, Joseph Pratt.
From Port City, they followed maps provided by MSP and meandered down the streets to a variety of businesses, each providing participants with a chocolate treat.
Named after avid downtown enthusiast Ellen Vetter, the walk serves as one of the largest fundraisers of the year. According to Pratt, people enjoy the event because it’s a fun way to explore all that downtown Portsmouth has to offer, but you’re also rewarded with chocolate along the way – and who doesn’t like chocolate?
“This event is also one of my personal favorites, because of the traffic it directs to our tireless downtown merchants. I thought this year was a major success, because I saw more shopping bags among participants than years before,” explained Pratt.
The event is particularly beneficially to Portsmouth’s area businesses, since people circulate through them and can see businesses that they may not have otherwise ventured into.
Port City manager, Cory Maillet says that the event is one of the busiest days for the staff.
“We normally don’t open until 4 p.m. on Saturdays but with the Chocolate Walk, we always open at 11. It brings a lot of people through that have never been through. Port City is the first stop so we have a lot of people come through to get their stuff for the chocolate walk, and then they come back later for lunch,” said Maillet. “Last year particularly, we were just busy all day long. We always put out menus with our cookies and within the first two hours we already had a good portion of them gone.”
According to Pratt, more businesses joined the event this year and the event saw businesses that have participated for years and some new businesses that have recently opened.
“It is exciting to see the shop owners get so thrilled for the walk. Old Fiddle Antiques and More moved their opening date just to meet with the walk, Ghosts in the Attic put together a photo selfie booth, Market Street Hardware worked for three weeks to put together a train on hanging ladders for the walk. It was great to see over 30 locations showing their goods and creativity to people in the community,” said Pratt.
For more information about Main Street Portsmouth, you can find them on Facebook “Main Street Portsmouth,” or by calling 740-464-0203.
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.
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