Downtown merchants to sponsor holiday event


The Rocky Mount Downtown Merchants Association will sponsor the second annual 'Ugly Sweater Sip-N-Shop' on Saturday at Station Square on 301 S. Church St.


Staff Writer

Friday, November 30, 2018

For the second straight year, small businesses in downtown Rocky Mount are hosting a holiday event to help create more exposure in the central part of town.

The second annual “Ugly Sweater Sip-N-Shop” event will be hosted by Dynamik Learning and the Rocky Mount Downtown Merchants Association from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at Station Square on 301 S. Church St. Tia Lucas, owner and chief innovator of Dynamik Learning, said the ugly sweater concept is something fun to get downtown merchants to come together and participate in a holiday event.

She added the free public event is a way to spur interest in downtown Rocky Mount.

“One of the reasons we wanted to do this is to bring more foot traffic in the downtown area,” Lucas said. “I just wanted to do something around the holidays just to get people out mixing, mingling, talking and networking as well.”

Tarrick Pittman, president of the Downtown Community Association and owner of CoolGeeks Computer Repair and Installation Services, said the inaugural event had a strong turnout that took place at the Booker T. Theatre.

Pittman said the Merchants Association wants to continue to move the event around to other downtown locations and chose Station Square because of the growth taking place at the facility over the past two years, including several entrepreneurs who have leased spaces such as Bin & Barrel Wine Bar and Bottles that will hold a grand opening at 11 a.m. today. Pittman added Bin & Barrel will offer selections at the Sip-N-Shop.

“We like what they’re doing over there (Station Square) in developing small businesses,” Pittman said.

Spurring interest in downtown and the Douglas Block is the whole point of the event, Pittman added. Last year, the event attracted a few vendors from out of the area including Wake County.

“This event is a great recruiting tool and it allows us to be able to recruit potential small business owners so we can connect them with developers in the area that may be looking for somebody to take up space or get residency in one of the buildings,” Pittman said. “I’ve reached out to a lot of property owners that will be walking by and possibly offering opportunities to these people.”

Lucas said the event will have about 20 vendors that will be participating. 

“This is a chance for small businesses to gain revenue and the best time to sell is during the holiday season,” she said. “We want people to continue to shop small.”

The Sip-N-Shop event also will feature a DJ playing music and a hired photographer. Pittman said Sip-N-Shop is the conclusion of a series of events that the Downtown Merchants Association put on this year.

Three events are planned in the spring, including a large Eastern North Carolina hairshow at the Rocky Mount Event Center. Pittman said spaces for vendors for Sip-N-Shop are still available and people interested can email Lucas at dynamiklearning1@gmail.com for more information.