On February 7th downtown Marietta will be celebrating the season of love with the First Friday theme “Love is in the Air.” The event, sponsored by the Marietta – Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, will encourage the community to express their love not only for the people in their lives but also for Marietta itself. The evening kicks off a month-long campaign by the CVB to celebrate Marietta and highlight the many reasons residents have to be proud of their city.

“Visitors and locals alike love Marietta and all she has to offer. From great restaurants to unique shopping, nightlife to ar, all in a city brimming with history. We’re inviting people to come downtown for First Friday and experience why Marietta is so loved,” shared Deana Clark, director of the CVB.

During the evening, visitors will find banners placed in five different downtown locations and will be invited to write a message on the banners about why they love Marietta. Participating businesses will also offer paper hearts for donations of $1, giving donors the opportunity to write a message on each heart about their love for the business the heart came from, the community, or downtown. All funds raised will be used by Marietta Main Street for its programs to enhance downtown. A random winner will receive the grand prize package, including an overnight stay, dinner for two, complimentary Putnam Chocolates, 2 Campus Martius tickets, 2 Valley Gem tickets, 2 Historic Trolley Tour tickets, 2 Castle tickets, 2 Children’s Toy and Doll Museum tickets, 2 Hidden Marietta Tours, and $50 in Marietta Bucks.

“The season of love is not lost on our community; there’s a lot to be grateful for in Marietta and our small businesses, local organizations, and downtown as a whole are a big part of what makes our community strong,” said Cristie Thomas, Interim Executive Director for Marietta Main Street.

Thomas continued, “We invite everyone out to First Friday, regardless of temperature or weather, to walk around our streets and show big love to our small shops.”

In addition to the banners and hearts, many businesses will host special events and promotions. Jeremiah’s Coffee Shop is featuring live music, special drinks, and a fun digital photo booth provided by Paragon Productions. The Riverside Artists Gallery will be collecting donations for the Humane Society to express their love for animals in need. JustAJar Design Press is celebrating their 10th Anniversary with live music from OYO and new merchandise releases. Rockstart Wellness is hosting special love-themed playlists during their Friday evening fitness classes, including a special Bootcamp class for couples. Over 35 downtown businesses will be open and shoppers can expect to find plenty of Valentine specials and gift ideas as they enjoy the festivities.

Businesses participating in First Friday will have heart balloons in varied colors tied in front of their business, provided by Gifts & More, to signify their participation in the event.

Laura Pytlik, the owner of Wit & Whimzy, said the businesses are looking forward to the event. “This is a great way for people to share their pride and love for Marietta while enjoying a fun evening downtown. We hope to sell enough hearts to cover our windows!”

For more details about February First Friday, visit www.mariettamainstreet.org