Friday’s warm weather ushered in one of downtown La-Grange’s hottest traditions: the bi-annual “Sip and Shop.” Hosted by the Downtown LaGrange Development Authority, the program provides a relaxing and casual atmosphere for citizens to explore downtown and its businesses while sipping wine.
The Development Authority teamed up with the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra to set the mood for Friday’s event. With musicians at every corner, the orchestra provided free live music for downtown shoppers.
The event draws shoppers from around LaGrange to help small businesses and also brings in young couples who enjoy the more romantic version of downtown.
“We do have a lot of people who come out for like a ‘Ladies Night Out’—this is something they do every year. They look forward to it,” said Barbie Watts of the Development Authority.
“We do have some couples who will come, too,” she added.
Proceeds from the event go to a charity or to help local groups.
According to Watts, proceeds from Friday’s event will go to the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra.
Raylene Carter with the orchestra said “the donated money goes to helping lower-income individuals participate in orchestra activities”.
“Every year they have some percentage of their proceeds from this event … they give to some charitable organization. This is the third year in a row that they’ve given to the Youth Orchestra.”
“We have a lot of different youth programs,” Raylene Carter added. “Some of them are free. Some of them cost money, but all of them we try to make available to everybody regardless of their ability to pay. We have scholarship programs and provide instruments. It allows us to be able to offer it to people who may not be able to afford it otherwise.”
The “Sip and Shop” takes place twice a year. The second event will come in the fall and, according to Watts, it will kick start the holiday season for shopping in downtown LaGrange.
While the fall event won’t feature the symphony’s free live music, the orchestra will be back for next summer’s celebration.