VAN WERT — A walk down Main Street and checking out all of the small stores is always entertaining.
However, chocolate can make it even better.
Main Street Van Wert hosted its first Downtown Chocolate Walk Friday, and Main Street Van Wert Manager Adam Ries said the event was more successful that they could have ever hoped for.
“We had 20 businesses participate, and they were excited about having the event,” Ries said. “We have 150 people that have purchased tickets, so we are very excited with how the event turned out its first year.”
Participating businesses were open from 4 to 8 p.m. for the event. People purchasing tickets got the chance to check some of the approximately 120 downtown businesses Van Wert has to offer. While attendees strolled through leisurely, they could get a sample or collect a chocolate treat in a bag provided at the Main Street Van Wert office.
“We are trying to attract people to the downtown area,” Ries said. “It is good for the businesses, also. They have 150 people walking through their doors that may not have otherwise. We are focused on the vitalization of downtown, and part of that is creating reasons for people to come back downtown.”
Dan German, owner of Fettig’s Flowers on Main Street for 38 years, said the event was a great idea and that he had heard very good comments about the event from the visitors.
German was giving away chocolate roses to visitors in the store during the walk.
“This gets us some exposure and it definitely helps with sales, too,” German said. “It’s great to get people out on Main Street. We have seen a lot of familiar faces tonight, and a lot of new ones, too. Those are people who may not have had a reason to come in, and now they know what we have to offer.”
Ries said the idea came about while exchanging ideas with other Ohio Main Street programs.
“We are constantly exchanging ideas, and this is something other towns in Ohio had tried,” Ries said. “We thought we would give it a try.”