Locals take to downtown to drink wine and shop in Marketplace for annual event

Published 8:14 pm Friday, November 22, 2019

Marketplace at Lafayette Square was a popular place during Friday night’s Sip & Shop event in downtown LaGrange.

 “We’re having a great time. It’s fabulous,” shopper Freda Markert said. 

She was celebrating the anniversary of her first year in LaGrange at Marketplace with her friend Dianne Lane. 

“The weather’s good, the wine’s good, not to mention the conversation,” Lane said. 

Marketplace was packed with shoppers and people buying tickets for Sip & Shop. 

“We have a lot of out-of-towners here tonight,” Marketplace owner Al Brannon said. “We’ve had a lot who’ve called from Auburn and Columbus.”

One of those out-of-town visitors was Carleen Frokjer from Hamilton. 

“I love it. It’s a social thing It’s a shopping thing. It’s just a chance to get away because I’m in Columbus all the time,” Frokjer said. 

Frokjer said she has has been enjoying getting to know LaGrange. 

Courtyard at LaGrange Manager Terrance Garrett was visiting Marketplace for his first time at Sip & Shop. 

“The networking, the food, the socializing – it’s fabulous,” Garret said. “It’s like we’re all sitting around a big table, but we’re sipping and shopping.”   

Farther into the square, Barbie Watts, director of promotions and marketing for the Downtown LaGrange Development Authority, was moving ticket sales into the chamber office, as it was starting to rain. 

“We’ve had a steady stream of people coming in tonight,” she said. 

Tickets for the event buy a glass for wine sampling and proceeds go to Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a local outreach that builds beds for local kids who don’t have one. It’s been the charity for the last two Sip & Shops.

Inside Plum Southern, author and columnist Lynn Gendusa was signing her latest book, “It’s All Write With Me: Essays From My Heart.” 

Gendusa went to high school and college in LaGrange and her latest column was about Sip & Shop. 

“Every opportunity I get to come to LaGrange, I’m coming,” she said. “They accept me and love me. I love this town.”

Shopper Jennifer Wooley was also in Plum Southern, buying gifts during Sip & Shop.

She said she was glad to take part in the event, particularly at Plum Southern. 

“You feel so welcome when you come in here. People want to take the extra step to help you. It’s a sense of joy.”

Carriage rides started Friday night as part of Sip & Shop, and will continue throughout the season, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday weather permitting.