Hay rides, artisan crafts and plenty of deals will be on display downtown this weekend for Fall Fest.
The Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee-sponsored festival, in conjunction with town-wide sidewalk sales, hopes to offer plenty of reasons to stay and buy local, according to Chamber President Ann Marie Casey.
"This is a great way for the local shops, restaurants and galleries to thank their clientel for keeping it local and supporting them year-round," Casey said. "It also helps the shops sell their merchandise for discounted prices and restock and replenish for the winter season."
Many of the participating stores also offer treats, such as cider, during the sales, Casey said.
The weekend's line up includes the Artisan Craft Fair at Abbot Hall (Souvenir photos at the fair will be provided courtesy of XFINITY and costumed characters from the Boston Ballet School at the Y will also be at Abbot Hall), Horse Drawn Hay Rides (sponsored by National Grand Bank and Marblehead Bank), Mask Decorating (sponsored by the Marblehead Arts Association) and refreshments and entertainment at various retail locations are all planned, Casey detailed.
Additionally, local historic attractions will be open. On Saturday, the Lee Mansion will be open for free tours from 10 a.m. to noon and the J.O.J. Frost Gallery will be open for free from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Sunday, a Bette Hunt Walking Tour "Exploring Front St." will be led from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
"We hope the weather is crisp and clear and we can welcome residents for a town-wide celebration," Casey said.
New this year, Casey said, is the Restaurant Rivalry. This week, tickets are on sale at the visitors booth on Pleasant Street. For a $5 ticket, samples will be available at participating restaurants. Rank the restaurants and submit your ballot for the chance to win a gift certificate to an area restaurant.
"We thought it would be fun to get residents into some of the restaurants and try something the restaurant wants to highlight," Casey said. "Hopefully, people will take advantage of it and maybe try a new restaurant at the same time."
Casey said proceeds from Fall Fest go toward off-setting some of the costs associated with the Christmas Walk.
"More than anything, this is a way to kick off the fall for residents and visitors," Casey said. "At the same time, it gives businesses some exposure."
Business Participants So Far:
Hip Baby Gear
Lynn Marine Supply
Marblehead Museum & Historical Society
Marblehead Toy Shop
Rags to Riches
Scribe Paper & Gift
Spirit of '76 Bookstore
The Sea Gull
Fall Festival Restaurant Rivalry - $5 per ticket – On sale at the Chamber Info Booth until Sunday.
Information Booth Hours: Mon, Tues, and Wed. - noon to 4pm; Thurs, Fri, and Sunday – 11am to 5pm and Saturday – 10am to 5pm.
Taste "samples" at participating restaurants on Saturday and Sunday. Travel from restaurant to restaurant, and rate each establishment's offerings in a friendly, community-spirited competition.Vote on your favorite sample, and enter to win a $50 restaurant gift certificate from one local restaurants. Pick up/ Drop off tickets at the Chamber Information Booth. Participating Restaurants with more to come: Hooked Seafood & Grill, The Landing Restaurant, Marblehead Cafe & Chowder Company, 5 Corners Kitchen
Healing Arts Tents
The Chamber Health & Wellness Committee will be participating in this event with "Healing Arts" tents on Saturday at the State Street Landing. This component to the event features Chamber Health & Wellness professionals, showcasing their services, offering brief consultations/ demonstrations and providing healthy tips to improve your body and mind. Healing Arts Participants with more to come: Full Potential Chiropractic, Hand in Hand Massage