STUART, FL – August 29, 2013 – Downtown Stuart, Florida will host a varied schedule of activities for all ages this fall and holiday season. The full calendar of events for October through December includes festivals, concerts, walks, and environmental activities presented by a diverse group of non-profit organizations.
“Downtown Stuart doesn’t just have an ‘Old Florida’ feel, it embodies an old-fashioned sense of community,” says Downtown Business Association President, Patty O’Connell. “We have many groups working together to bring events downtown year-round, and especially for the holiday season.” City of Stuart Event coordinator, Janet Metz seconded the spirit of cooperation, saying, “There’s always something happening in Stuart.”
Downtown Stuart kicks off the fall season in high heels with Walk a Mile in Her Shoes the morning of October 5. The one-mile walk through Downtown Stuart features men walking in red stiletto heels to raise awareness for Domestic Violence. The walk starts at 8:30 a.m. on the Riverwalk Stage on the waterfront. The same day, Worldwide Photowalk comes to Downtown Stuart, bringing dozens of amateur photographers to explore Downtown Stuart’s unique architecture, waterfront, and small town ambiance. That same weekend, Downtown Stuart hosts the Save Our Rivers March, Sunday, October 6. The walk from Memorial Park to Flagler Park is to raise awareness of the Lake Okeechobee discharges and their impact on the Indian River Lagoon.
The 14th Annual Downtown Stuart Fall Craft Festival returns in October. Over a hundred vendors will line Osceola Street October 12 and 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with booths selling unique handmade and craft items. October 12 is also when Harvest Fest returns to Memorial Park with a family carnival atmosphere featuring bounce houses, carnival games, DJ and food vendors.
October is also the month when little monsters take over the streets of downtown with Hobgoblins on Main Street Saturday, October 26. The all-day family festival includes a classic car show and trunk-or-treat, trick-or-treating with the downtown merchants, family and kids’ costume contests, live music, kids’ crafts, vendors, and a children’s costume parade.
Memorial Park’s Food Truck Invasion also continues this fall, bringing gourmet food trucks to the park every Monday evening through November.
People and pets alike will take the streets in Downtown Stuart in November with two organized walks. The Veterans 5K Run/Walk November 9 commemorates Veterans Day with racers competing in hand-bike, runner, walker, and wheelchair divisions. The same day the annual Mutt March returns to Memorial Park. This fundraising walk also features pet-friendly activities.
Memorial Park will be home to the new Stuart Seafood Festival November 16 and 17 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The two-day nautical extravaganza features fresh seafood, live entertainment, nautical vendors, kids’ activities and more.
The holiday shopping season starts early in Stuart with a number of activities supported by Downtown Stuart’s Shop Local | Shop Smart initiative. November 14th Stuart hosts its semi-annual downtown Open House, Stuart Stroll from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Guests enjoy appetizers, wine, and special sales at downtown businesses and are entered to win a $500 downtown shopping spree. The following weekend, November 23 and 24, Downtown Stuart businesses open their doors for the Fall Sidewalk Sale Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with live music, pre-holiday sales, and a chance to jump start your holiday shopping with over 50 locally-owned independent shops, galleries and restaurants. The holiday shopping marathon continues Saturday, November 30 as downtown businesses in the national Small Business Saturday.
Traditional family holiday activities abound too. The Christmas on Main Street Tree Lighting festival is held the Friday after Thanksgiving from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The family-friendly annual festival includes musical and dance performances, photos with Santa Claus, kids’ activities, a petting zoo, and the lighting of the city Christmas tree. The Christmas on Main Street theme continues with decorated store windows, the Festival of Trees, and carolers on the streets of Downtown Stuart throughout the season.
Downtown Stuart is also home to year-round activities like the Stuart Green Market, every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the City Hall Annex Parking Lot, adjacent to the Riverwalk Stage on the Downtown Waterfront. Downtown Stuart’s long-running waterfront music series, Rock’n Riverwalk also returns in November. The FREE concert series features rock, jazz, blues, reggae and more on the waterfront Riverwalk Stage every Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Many of these Downtown Stuart events are presented by the Stuart Main Street Promotion Committee, a project of Main Street and the Downtown Business Association. For information call 772-286-2848 or visit www.facebook.com/downtownstuartflorida.
The Stuart Downtown Business Association (DBA) formed to market the shops, galleries, restaurants, and professional businesses of Stuart’s Historic Downtown and the surrounding areas. The group advocates for business owners and promotes a positive image of the downtown business district as a unique alternative to “cookie cutter” mall shopping through marketing, events, and other promotions. The DBA meets the fourth Wednesday of every month at 8:00 a.m. in the City Hall Chambers at 121 SW Flagler Avenue, Stuart. For more information, visit www.historicdowntownstuart.com.
Stuart Main Street is a historic preservation-based program dedicated to building a healthy, vital downtown area through community self-reliance and a focus on the downtown’s traditional assets: personal service, local ownership, unique architecture, and a sense of community. Formed in 1987, the group follows the Main Street Four-Point Approach® as established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center and practiced in over 1600 communities across the country. Stuart Main Street meets the second Tuesday of every month at 4:30 p.m. in the City Hall Chambers at 121 SW Flagler Avenue, Stuart. For more information, visit stuartmainstreet.org or call 772-286-2848.