By DANIEL SUDDEATH
NEW ALBANY — Merchants have organized a way for patrons to visit downtown, midtown and uptown establishments without having to drive to several destinations.
On the second Saturday of each month, Develop New Albany and participating businesses are sponsoring a “Shop and Hop” trolley service. A trolley will run between downtown, midtown and uptown and drop off riders near participating stores and restaurants.
The first event is slated for 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, and is titled the “Valentine’s Shop and Hop”.
Those who want a free ride can park and catch the trolley at any of the participating businesses including Destinations Booksellers, The Opal Gypsy and Strandz and Threadz.
Stefanie Griffith is the owner of Strandz and Threadz and one of the organizers behind the second Saturday trolley service. She said it will hopefully be a way for families to enjoy the numerous boutiques, shops and restaurants between the three areas of New Albany.
“It’s been something we’ve talked about, especially with the Arts Council of Southern Indiana, for the past one-and-a-half to two years,” Griffith said. “We decided now is the time to do it.”
A number of businesses have opened in downtown, midtown and uptown in recent years, and the added storefronts make the trolley service more viable, she continued.
“We’re committing to a year [for the trolley service], and I think it will catch on,” Griffith said.
The cost for renting the trolley is being covered by participating merchants. Prizes will be given away and people can only qualify by signing-up inside those participating stores.
This Saturday, a $200 Visa card will be given away, Griffith said.
Organizers are still seeking more merchant involvement. Midtown and uptown businesses are asked to contact Griffith at 812-945-5480, and downtown merchants are asked to call Shanda Sillings-Roderick at The Opal Gypsy at 812-725-9744.
For more information, visit www.developna.org.