Merchants, artists teaming up Friday

The first of five Merchants & Artists Walk events scheduled for this year is Friday.

The walk is a fun way for the artists and merchants located in downtown Marietta and Harmar Village to showcase their services and talents.

WesBanco is organizing the walk this year and employees Bonnie Rake, Katie Shearon and Jonelle Crooks-Merritt have volunteered to pair the merchants and artists together. Kasandra Ruscitto of the Original Pizza Place on Second Street is in charge of music and other entertainment for the events.

According to Jean G. Farmer, executive director of Marietta Main Street, last year the events had wide participation.

“We had over 40 businesses participate with almost as many artists,” said Farmer. “This year, we expect even more participants including the merchants, artists and those who attend the event.”

Merchants participating in the event will have a sign posted in their store front with the Marietta Main Street logo.

Businesses involved with the event will be spread out around Harmar Village as well as Front, Putnam and Second streets in downtown Marietta. Farmer added that this year will also provide non-profits a chance to participate with a space separate from the downtown shops.

“We’re adding an area on WesBanco’s lawn (on Second Street near Butler) for non-profits to set up their table so they won’t be isolated from similar organizations,” she said.

One example will be Riverside Artists Gallery which will present the “Gardens of Oz” from 6 to 9 p.m. for the first walk of 2014.

The “Gardens of Oz” features the art work of potter Melissa Rohrer and the ornamental ironwork of Betsy Cook. Visitors will travel the yellow brick road to the Emerald City where iron and clay become small flowers, toad houses, buckets, big flowers, pots, giant flowers and more.

Any downtown business, artist, musician or non-profit interested in participating may contact Bonnie Rake at or call (740) 422-7416. Applications can be found online at, for additional questions call 740-885-8194.