Written By Carol Cahall
The “Second Saturday Stroll,” a monthly event in Mount Airy, is reminiscent of the time when folks would come downtown on Saturday evening to grab a bite to eat, shop and visit with their neighbors. The “Second Saturday Stroll” is sponsored by the Downtown Business Association (DBA), a marketing organization comprised of local business on or near Main Street. On the second Saturday of every month participating retailers extend their business hours until 9 p.m..
Lifetime resident and a local business owner for the past 27 years, Ben Gue, owner of Ben Gue Gifts and Collectibles, located on Main Street, was the initiator of the event. “I proposed the idea at a DBA meeting and the other business owners thought it was a good idea,” said Ben.
Downtown Mount Airy, recently named a Maryland Main Street Community, has seen an influx of new businesses. “We have a wide variety of interesting stores that specialize in antiques, collectibles, a day spa, model trains, an art gallery, flowers, baby items, skateboards, home decorating, teenage clothes, party supplies and restaurants right here on Main Street,” said Judy Simon, owner of Simon Place.
“The Saturday Night Stroll has changed the way we are approaching our business,” said Susanna Kahan-Kronsbein, store manager of The Main Event. “Our party-centric business is really a destination business.
People usually come here only when they are having an event. In the spirit of the Saturday Night Stroll, we are adding a line of unique, handmade gifts and toys to appeal to the Saturday Night Strollers.” To add to the excitement of the event, the DBA has added themes.
June will feature “Swingin’ into Summer,” July will incorporate a “Summer Sidewalk Sale,” and August’s will be “Back to School.” September’s will be “Celebrate Autumn,” October will feature “Halloween,” and November’s will be “Holiday Open House.” Most stores offer specials and light refreshments.
The DBA was formed in 2001 by charter members Ben Gue Gifts & Collectibles, Blossom and Basket Boutique and The Main Event. Current membership includes 16 Main Street businesses. They include Browning Reagle Insurance Agency, Dj vu, Inspiration Point, Miracles on Main Street, Olde Towne Restaurant, Patches Quilting & Sewing, Simon Place, SK Printing, State Farm Insurance, Train Depot, When Pigs Fly, The Gazette Newspapers and Kemptown Too.