Tue. Mar 5th, 2024

Downtown Marion Preparing for Chocolate Walk

By William Cheney Feb 8, 2024

Downtown Marion is getting ready for its fourth annual Chocolate Walk event, with 25 of its local businesses participating.

Tickets for the event will cost $15 and can be purchased at Ashleys Ice Cream Café. Each purchase of a ticket includes a map of all the participating businesses.

With a ticket, participants can collect different chocolate treats from all associated businesses.

“It gets people downtown, and they get to go to the different businesses and see what’s actually
down here.” Brian Conwell, one of the event organizers, said. “Last year, we had about 15 businesses, and this year we have 25.”

With the bypass, Conwell said small businesses often have problems being discovered. He compared the situation to the famous Pixar movie Cars. However, he said he is optimistic that investing in the downtown area will attract more people.

Barry Lobdell, owner of Jerry’s Leather Shop and Shoe Hospital, said the Chocolate Walk was a good way of attracting attention to local businesses.

“It’s a good way to promote our business,” Lobdell said. “People get out and about and walk around and they come in and get their little baggy of chocolate.”

One of the Marion locals, Mary Malone, said she enjoyed her experience at the Chocolate Walk last year.

“My daughter and I went around to some of the other businesses on Friday,” Malone said. “It was really fun.”

The tradition of the Chocolate Walk began in 2021, when the non-profit Main Street Marion organized the event in order to attract more customers to the downtown area.

This year, the owners of Ashley’s Ice Cream Café and True Envy Boutique have taken charge of organizing the event.

All the money generated from the ticket sales goes to the non-profit Save Our Stories, a historic preservation group that invests in the restoration of downtown Marion.

The event begins Friday, Feb. 9, and ends Saturday, Feb. 10. The businesses will start redeeming the tickets for chocolate at 11:00 a.m. and stop at their regular service hours.

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