Your Start-of-the-Year Checklist

The transition from holiday season to “back to the old grind” always seems to happen extremely fast. It seemed even faster this year. Monday was a holiday, Tuesday it was back to work and start the new year!
As we head into Spring, here is a quick list of items it is great to accomplish early on in the year. Those super cold days are great times to cuddle up with your favorite hot beverage and ponder your business, but that can also seem intimidating because there is so much to do. Here are some of our recommendations on what you can be doing for your business during the early part of the year.
Do you use a computer, tablet, or smart phone for your business operations? If so, you probably get pinged every now and then to update the system you’re functioning on. Most of us probably continue to hit “later” or “tomorrow” until it just becomes a part of our days. Now is a great time, however, to go ahead and run through all of those updates. Yes, it can be scary. Sometimes updating an operating system can have some burps involved, and sometimes it can seem like your phone gets tied up forever. However, knowing that you’re going into the year with everything up to snuff is rewarding and well worth it. Go ahead and get this done.
The Marketing Plan
There is a school of thought out there that marketing works best when it’s “organic” and in the moment. That may work for some businesses, but the reality is that marketing works much more effectively if you have a plan not just for what you’re going to do but why you’re going to do it and how you’re going to measure your success. While marketing activity might bring you success if you execute them by the seat of your pants, you may not even realize just how successful they were without objectives and measurement.
Introduce Yourself
Introduce yourself? Perhaps you’ve been around for 50 years or more. Why do you need to introduce yourself? Most businesses  owners feel like everyone must know what they do because, after all, THEY are immersed in it every day. The reality, however, is that new people move into Marietta every year, and they do not know all of the businesses here. Moreover, there are always new visitors in the spring and summer you can reach out to over the course of the year. Whether you decide to have an open house or a special sale (or both), think of ways to extend a handshake to new potential customers.
The Business Plan

Finally, now is the perfect time to evaluate your business and determine the following for the coming months:

  • How much do you want to grow in terms of in-store traffic and profit?

  • Do you want to hire some new faces? If so, what would they do, and how would you rationalize those hires?

  • Do you have a contingency plan in case you have to close up the shop for a few days due to weather or illness?

 What else have you traditionally worked on early in the year to make sure your business has a better year than last year? We would love to hear your ideas!

First Friday Spreads Love for Marietta and Community

Join Marietta Main Street downtown this weekend for First Friday: Share the Love from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.! Residents and visitors that brave the chilly weather will be rewarded with late night shopping, special promotions and in-store specials, and opportunities to share their love for Marietta.

While February celebrates romantic love, this First Friday celebrates all kinds of love – love for one’s community, neighbors, friends, and family. The Venturing Crew will once again be set up on the Armory Lawn serving up s’mores kits for $2 each for shoppers who want to make their own s’more. The group will also be collecting non-perishable items for local food pantries. Items requested include Mac & Cheese, tuna, pancake mix, instant potatoes, cereal, spaghetti, rice, canned soup, toilet paper, ramen noodles, flour, sugar, canned vegetables, baby food and diapers.


Shoppers can drop off donated items to the Venturing Crew at the Armory, or collection points at Wit & Whimzy, Marietta Dance Academy and Threadz. The food drive was inspired by a drive hosted by local resident Marjorie Clayman, which took place throughout the month of January.

“There are too many people in our area struggling to keep food on the table, and many of the hungry or undernourished are children,” said Laura Pytlik, Owner of Wit & Whimzy. “We have a very supportive community and hopefully this food drive will provide a lot of meals to the less fortunate.”

Friday’s festivities also include the kick off of Enrich Marietta’s engagement events at both the Marietta Brewing Company and Jeremiah’s Coffee House. Enrich Marietta is a process to create a community-led plan for the future of Downtown Marietta. The Marietta Downtown Plan will be a comprehensive plan of policies and projects to guide revitalization and development within Downtown over the next 5 to 15 years. Join members of the Enrich Marietta steering committee during First Friday at either location to learn more about the process and participate in interactive activities.

“February’s First Friday focused on sharing love with our community is a perfect opportunity to reflect on what we like best and what we need next in Downtown Marietta,” said Sarah Arnold, Marietta Main Street Board President and member of the Enrich Marietta steering committee. “We invite the entire community to come out this weekend and share their input!”

First Fridays are monthly events that showcase the best of Marietta and allow the community to take advantage of extended shopping hours. In addition to engagement activities and those taking place on the Armory Lawn, the Riverside Artists Gallery is hosting a special Share the Love event with artists Jeremy Keller, Mary Ennis, Janet Gustafson and Dave Gustafson. There will also be live music at the Marietta Wine Cellars, The Adelphia Music Hall, and Emmanuel’s Bakery.

Fire & Ice Festival Returns

Fire and Ice Night returns for a third time to kick off Marietta Main Street’s new season of First Friday events in Downtown Marietta on Friday, January 4th. A favorite theme, the Fire and Ice Festival features expertly carved ice sculptures on display throughout downtown, hot chocolate and treat stops, extended shopping hours, special events and in-store promotions.

This year’s event is sponsored by Glenwood Retirement Community. “We are strong supporters of Marietta and its surrounding communities given 80% of our residents move to Glenwood from right here in the Mid-Ohio Valley,” said Laura Miller, Director of Marketing. 

Once again, one local artist will be responsible for each ice sculpture on display. Tyson Whistler, head chef at Glenwood Retirement Community, started preparing ice blocks months in advance to be carved for this event.


“Tyson brings the same amount of creativity to his cuisine as he does to his ice sculptures. We are proud of Tyson and fully support his engagement in the Fire and Ice Festival, and what better way to show support than sponsoring this event that spotlights his talents and Marietta’s beautiful downtown?” Laura said. 

It is always fun to watch Tyson turn a block of ice into a work of art .

Community members, visitors and downtown merchants alike look forward to seeing what Tyson creates for this year’s festival. “The ice sculptures that Tyson carves are so beautiful,” said Debbie Cline, Co-Owner of Twisted Sisters Boutique and Marietta Main Street Board Member. “It is always fun to watch Tyson turn a block of ice into a work of art. He will be carving live at Gateway Park on the corner of Front and Butler Streets.”


Tyson has been involved with the Fire and Ice Festival from the beginning, and has helped it grow each year. “Art has always been a huge part of my life, I have been drawing and painting since I was a child, but found the medium of ice about 14 years ago while working in the culinary field,” said Tyson. Over the years, Tyson has continued to learn new techniques and hone his carving skills. “When I first started carving, I did three to five a year. Now I make between 20 and 30 sculptures a year, learning and re-investing that knowledge into the next piece.”

The positive feedback and support from the community is what drives me to continue to raise the bar and produce quality sculptures. 

Although a lot of prep work goes into the event, Tyson looks forward to event each and every year. “I enjoy doing this event because it is an opportunity to give the community a chance to see a unique art form that many have never seen, as well as give our local businesses the ability to sponsor a sculpture and incorporate the art into their ideas to drive locals downtown,” he said. “The positive feedback and support from the community is what drives me to continue to raise the bar and produce quality sculptures.”


More than a dozen sculptures will be on display throughout Downtown from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, each a unique design inspired by the sponsoring business or an important cause. 

“Fire and Ice has already become a popular annual event and we’re excited to participate,” said Laura Pytlik, Owner of Wit & Whimzy. “Wit & Whimzy is partnering with Green Acres to sponsor an ice sculpture that will promote the Humane Society.”

To help shoppers warm up, several shops will be offering hot chocolate or tea, including The Galley, Teri Ann’s, Green Acres, Jeremiah’s Coffee House, and the Busy Bee, who will be set up on the Armory Lawn.

First Friday events in downtown Marietta feature different themes each month as a fun way to keep the community engaged throughout the year. Although Fire and Ice is a returning theme, several of this year’s themes are new, including the literary-inspired Reading Rainbow in March and Who’s Your Hero? In November, honoring those who inspire us the most. The full 2019 First Friday schedule can be found on our Marietta Main Street website and Facebook page.

2019 First Friday Themes Announced!

First Fridays in downtown Marietta are monthly snippets of the best our community has to offer. Our downtown shops are open late, our restaurants feature diverse menus, local musicians and artists are highlighted, and monthly themes offer a variety of experiences for our whole community to enjoy.

We are thrilled to announce the 2019 lineup of First Fridays in downtown Marietta! Through brainstorming sessions with our downtown businesses and coordination by our First Friday Committee, we are proud to offer a fun, dynamic, and unique lineup of themes. 

Check out the list below, including links to our Facebook events for each, and get excited to invite your friends, family, colleagues, neighbors and more to spend each and every First Friday in 2019 in the heart of our community. 


Click here for Facebook event.

Ice sculptures will be staged throughout downtown. Fire-themed refreshments, drinks, and activities will be staged throughout downtown as well.

Click here for Facebook event.

Downtown businesses will feature exclusive specials and promotions uplifting the season of love for all visitors to downtown for this event. 

Click here for Facebook event.

March’s First Friday theme celebrates Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss's Birthday. There will be reading stations throughout Downtown and lots of literary fun to be had!

Click here for Facebook event.

Cake, celebration, & history! Our community will join together to share our love for Marietta, who is turning 231 years old in 2019!

Click here for Facebook event.

May's First Friday is Garden Party, featuring a return of the Marietta Derby! While the horses are racing in Kentucky, downtown will welcome races of our very own and encourage shoppers to don their biggest and boldest hats as they shop and dine downtown.

Click here for Facebook event.

June's First Friday is Kids Art Walk, featuring artwork from our local students in Washington County! 

Click here for Facebook event.

This month, we celebrate the fine & performance art community in Marietta by highlighting public art, local art groups, local artists, art galleries, and more!

Click here for Facebook event.

August's First Friday is a special Downtown Art Walk, with a twist! Stay tuned to learn more, we are eager to share details in coming months!

Click here for Facebook event.

September's First Friday is the first day of the Ohio River Sternwheel Festival! Enjoy extended shopping hours, special promotions and activities throughout all of downtown.

Click here for Facebook event.

October's First Friday is Fall Fest, featuring a Fall Festival on the lawn of the Armory with lots of games, pop-up tents, and fun activities.

Click here for Facebook event.

This night, we will honor all of our heroes, whether they are first responders, those serving our country, movie or comic characters, or those who inspire us the most!

Click here for Facebook event.

December's First Friday is a favorite for all of Marietta to enjoy! Shops are open EXTRA late for Moonlight Madness, some staying open straight through 'til midnight! 

Email us at if you or your business are interested in sponsoring one of our fantastic First Friday events!


First Friday: Moonlight Madness

Downtown Marietta is busily preparing for December’s First Friday, and this month’s event is the perennial favorite Moonlight Madness sale. The evening is sponsored by the Peoples Bank Theater and is a fun, festive way for people to save money while they enjoy holiday shopping.

Participating businesses will be open until 11:00 p.m., and nearly twenty shops will be offering discounts. Shoppers will draw a discount ball at the register with surprise savings from 10-50% off their purchase. In addition to the discounts, several restaurants will be offering hot chocolate specials so shoppers can warm up with a tasty holiday drink.


Moonlight Madness has been drawing crowds for years and it gives the downtown businesses an opportunity to thank the community for their support and patronage. Laura Pytlik, owner of Wit & Whimzy, explained that “we really appreciate our customers and the support they show for local businesses, and this is a fun way to show that appreciation.”

Free carriage rides, sponsored by Baker and Baker Jewelers and Jeremiah’s Coffee House, will add even more festivity to the evening. The rides will begin in front of both businesses and run from 7:00 -9:00 p.m. In addition, carolers will be serenading shoppers with Christmas carols and holiday songs throughout the evening.


“Peoples Bank Theatre is thrilled to be the sponsor of this special Moonlight Madness First Friday,” said Drew Tanner, Marketing Director for the Peoples Bank Theatre. To thank downtown shoppers, the Peoples Bank Theatre will be giving away a $200 gift certificate to the theatre. Every $10 spent at participating shops will earn a raffle ticket, and one lucky winner will take home this extraordinary gift.

Grab your friends and family members, make your holiday shopping lists, check them twice, and join Marietta Main Street downtown to celebrate the holiday season and small business together!