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Wilmore Fall Open House Oct. 3

After months of mandatory shutdowns, limited hours and restrictions on the number of customers allowed to enter stores at one time, Wilmore’s merchants are back in business, and they want to welcome their patrons.

The Wilmore Business Association will host a Fall Open House downtown on Saturday, Oct. 3, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tara Hall, director of The Family Center and president of the business association, said 15 businesses are participating. The event is expected to bring in 200 to 300 people over the six-hour window.

“We feel like this open house is extra-special,” Hall said. “It’s a celebration of success! When small businesses are struggling and closing, downtown Wilmore is thriving and looking to continue to grow.”

Four new businesses have opened in the last year, she said, and another one will open soon.

The newest, Hoolie’s Attic, was scheduled to have opened March 19, about the time the governor closed nonessential businesses. They finally opened May 21, and have been doing well, owner Rhonda Trent said.

“Our primary goal is bringing new life back to old furniture,” she said, including painted furniture, which is popular now. But they also have new items such as clothes and soap and candles, including those made by Greenhouse 17, a program that provides work for survivors of domestic violence.

Trent said she was excited about the Fall Open House.

“I hope we can safely bring people in to see” what Wilmore has to offer, she said.

Another business that will be participating is one of the town’s oldest downtown stores, Rachel’s Rose Garden, a florist and gift shop on Main Street.

Rachel Wolfe, who has owned it for the past four years, said she’s been excited to see the changes that have taken place in downtown Wilmore since then.

“It’s not the Wilmore it used to be,” she said.

Rachel’s Rose Garden will have fresh cut flowers, pressed flowers, ferns and gift items such as mugs on sell for the open house.

“We just love seeing life come back to downtown,” Wolfe said.

Wilmore’s business group hasn’t had a fall open house before, though they normally have one in the spring, Hall said.

Ordinarily, the city’s annual Arts and Crafts Festival is held the first Saturday of October and features more than 50 businesses and vendors. But because of the coronavirus, that event was canceled and replaced with the Fall Open House, which will focus on Wilmore’s shops, according to Judy Woolums of the Wilmore Community Development Board.

The Wilmore Farmers’ Market will also be open from 8 a.m. to noon, and some of the vendors will remain open until the festival ends at 3 p.m., Woolums said.

Merchants will be featuring their new fall and holiday merchandise, along with specials, sales, drawings for free giveaways, sidewalk sales and gifts with purchases.

Local restaurants will be open, and there will be two food trucks.

Woolums said that safety guidelines will include mandatory masks to enter businesses, hand sanitizing stations up and down Main Street, limits on the number of shoppers in stores at any given time, and guidelines to keep sidewalk traffic flowing in one direction only.

Wolfe said that the steps the board has taken to ensure safety are important to her. She and her husband and newborn baby live on a farm with her parents, who are over 65 years of age, and her shop has been closed to walk-in customers because of the virus, but will be open before Oct. 3, she said.

She said she appreciates the board’s efforts to trying to bring people back to downtown but to do so in a way that attempts to keep people safe.

About Randy Patrick

Randy Patrick is a reporter for Bluegrass Newsmedia, which includes The Jessamine Journal. He may be reached at 859-759-0015 or by email at randy.patrick@bluegrassnewsmedia.com.

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