Shops from Waupaca to King and in between are gearing up for Shop, Skip, and a Jump.
This project of Retailers Roundtable will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, May 6, with a total of 33 businesses participating.
Retailers Roundtable began meeting last year, seeking a venue for a discussion of common topics.
It is open to all area retailers, and among the things that have resulted is the idea to offer evening shopping opportunities.
Last Dec. 3, about 20 businesses participated in the first such night. Since then, people asked when they planned to do it again.
“One of the nicest things we heard at the December event was, ‘This is how Waupaca used to be – open on Friday nights and people would go downtown,'” said Barbara Fay Wiese.
She is among those on the subcommittee that formed to plan and market these special shopping nights.
The May 6 event is the first of four being held this year and was planned specifically for that time because it is the weekend of Mother’s Day.
The other dates this year will be Wednesday, Aug. 17, as part of Art on the Square’s Wau-King Chalking Art Tour; Friday, Sept. 30, which is the Hidden Studios’ weekend Art Along the Ice Age Trail; and then Friday, Dec. 2, for holiday shopping.
“We plan to do this four times a year, and each year, it will be those same weekends to encourage people to make Waupaca a destination,” Wiese said.
Fliers listing the special deals and events will be available in participating businesses.
Participating in downtown Waupaca are 44 North, Book World, Core Essential, Danes Home Antiques, Dragonwings, Embellishments, Framing by Preston, Ingeborg’s Cupboard, Originals Etc., Panache, Pure Design, Sew & Sew, Snapdragons Learning Center, Stange’s, Studio 212, The Paint Store, Waupaca Thrift Store, and Waupaca Community Arts Center.
Feminine Touch and New Direction are the “in between” stores that will be part of the May 6 event. They are in the strip mall on the corner of West Fulton Street and Western Avenue.
In King, Amherst Coffee, Salon Arian, Cate & Company, Cate’s Gourmet, Cheese Bob’s, Cinnamon House, Freckled Frogg, Furniture by Todd, House of George, Katie McCann, King Berry Farm – Raspberry Connection, Sasseez, and Timber Creek are participating in Shop, Skip, and a Jump.
There will be helium balloons outside each business that is part of the event.
Wiese said there will be many special things happening that night. Among the happenings in King will be in-store food sampling at Cate’s Gourmet, a celebration of 25 years in business for Cheese Bob’s with wine tasting, a dining special at the Freckled Frogg, Furniture by Todd’s open house at its new location across the street from where it was, and Sasseez’s open house to introduce a new designer-inspired boutique.
“In between,” Feminine Touch will have “fun money,” and New Direction will offer a discount on the cost of embroidery or laser engraving.
There will also be plenty going on in downtown Waupaca.
New York Times best-selling author Patrick Rothfuss will do a book signing from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Book World.
Store manager Maria Miskinis, who also serves on the subcommittee planning this year’s evening events, said Rothfuss, of Stevens Point, writes science fiction. He is the author of the projected three-volume series, The Kingkiller Chronicle.
The Name of the Wind, first in the series, was a New York Times best-seller, and The Wise Man’s Fear, the second book in the series was released in March.
Miskinis said the book signing will be fun.
“He’s supposed to be very engaging. Hopefully, it will draw people from other communities. We’re thrilled to host him here,” she said.
Also going on downtown that night will be the Waupaca Community Art Center’s second annual Chocolate Buffet fundraiser.
It will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, May 6, and also from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 7.
Tasting tickets are $1 each or six for $5. There will be more than 25 chocolate concoctions from local shops and chefs. Chocolate items can also be purchased in advance and picked up May 10-14 during store hours.
Many stores will offer specials. At Embellishments, store owner Anita Olson and her staff will be waiting on customers in their pajamas to showcase the new pajama line the store is carrying.
The pajamas will be 30 percent off, and those who wear their own pajamas to the store will get a 35 percent discount on the store’s pajamas.
At Stange’s, Shelly Christie will give patio design tips, and there will be demonstrations at The Paint Store.
Planning for the May 6 event began in January.
“What I’m thrilled about,” Olson said, “is we all know we are better in our businesses because we do things together.”