Wine-ing about winterLocals brave cold for wine filled evening in downtown Mt. Pleasant
BY BRYCE KELLY
Mt. Pleasant News
Despite the cool winter temperatures, the downtown district of Mt. Pleasant was bustling with more than a few wine connoisseurs Thursday evening as many shops extended their normal business hours to accommodate the third annual Wine About Winter.
A treat for the taste buds, the annual downtown event gave locals the opportunity to sip and snack their way through various downtown Mt. Pleasant shops, all of which featured different wines, beers and sweet treats served by business owners and employees.
The event was free to the public and provided wine glasses for all who participated.
“This year, I think we have a few more businesses participating than we did the year before, which is good,” said Holly Frary, owner of Sip, and one of the coordinators of this year’s event. “Because our downtown has changed so much in the last couple of years, I think events like this help people see how alive and thriving our downtown is.”
A newcomer to this year’s Wine About Winter was Karen Duckett, of Duckett Upscale Clothing and More, on South Main St. The clothing store, which is still relatively new to the downtown district, opened in April of last year. Events like Wine About Winter, says Duckett, are an easy way and fun way to promote her business and get to know the local community better.
“I went to this event last year myself, so I thought actually participating as a store owner would be a good idea since last year’s event seemed to be pretty popular,” she said. “Tonight, I have seen people come in that I have never seen before or who have told me they had never been in the store before, which is great. This gets new people in the door and looking at what we have to offer.”
Kristi Ray, vice president of the Mt. Pleasant Chamber, was among the plethora of locals and Mt. Pleasant visitors taking a stroll through the downtown with a glass of wine in hand. According to Ray, seeing the downtown bustling is always a welcomed site.
“The turnout had been really great,” she said, admitting that she wasn’t sure how many people would come with the weather being so cold. “What an event like this does is get people in our stores on nights that they otherwise might not be out shopping because of the cold.”
That was certainly the case for Rhyan Neillson and her friends. Neillson, a Henry County local, brought a group of her girlfriends for a night out despite the cooler temperatures. She says they planned to eat dinner in town following the event.
“We all are really into wine tasting,” she admitted, toting her glass of white wine. “I had heard about this from a co-worker and thought why not invite some friends for a girl’s night out, and we’ve had a lot of fun so far. I’m glad the city had this going on tonight. It gave us a good excuse to get together.”
This year’s event featured roughly 15 different businesses and was held from 5 to 8 p.m.