Heidi McCarthy of Auburn looks through the Oak Street Pottery display at Kimball Street Studios during Sparkle Sunday on Lisbon Street in Lewiston. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)
Sawyer Pettengill, 6, colors in the craft station during Sparkle Sunday in the Hardy, Wolf and Downing building at 182 Lisbon St. in Lewiston. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)
Volunteer Deb Davis gets help from a customer at the Store Next Door wrapping station in the Quiet City foyer during Sparkle Sunday on Lisbon Street in Lewiston. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)
LEWISTON — The biting air whistled through Lisbon Street and the bright sunshine seemed to make the ice on the sidewalks sparkle. It’s appropriate weather for Sparkle Sunday, organized by the Lewiston-Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce for the past three years.
From Poise Yoga at 351 Lisbon St. to J. Dostie Jewelry at 4 Lisbon St., as well as Wicked Illustrations at 140 Canal St., dark blue “sparkle flags” directed shoppers to 23 venues, where more than 50 vendors were selling their creations.
Organizers hoped to re-create the feeling of downtown shopping and meeting friends and neighbors.
Inside Chill Yoga, Roberta O’Brion was selling Arbonne products, and was pleased with this year’s turnout.
“Last year we had that big ice storm, so there’s a lot more traffic this year,” she said.
There was a craft station inside the Hardy, Wolf and Downing building, where the family of newly elected city Councilman Zack Pettengill was helping with face-painting, coloring, and ornament-making, along with volunteer Nichole Bouyea and her children.
“Every year we do something different,” Sawyer Pettengill, 6, said.
Chantel Pettengill, wife of Zack, said she and her husband are very involved in the community, and Sparkle Sunday is a great way to “showcase Lewiston.”
“It’s great for last- minute Christmas shopping,” Evelyn Pettengill, 8, said.
The Healthy Androscoggin building held multiple vendors, and shoppers were greeted with a waft of fresh Maine smells, thanks to Jerry Cass of Delightful Odds and Herbs.
He brought three kinds of potpourri — orange spice, Christmas in Maine and apple spice — and was excited to be participating in Sparkle Sunday for the first time. He said he hopes such events will bring Lewiston back to its former glory.
“I used to drive a city bus back in the ’70s, and I remember how downtown used to be,” Cass said. “So many more places open! I’d like to see it built up again; make it a destination again.”
For those who dreaded the daunting task of wrapping their new purchases, the women of the Store Next Door project, which helps homeless children and teens stay in school, were happy to help. Inside Quiet City Books, a wrapping station was set up, and folks could give a donation in return.
“It’s festive!” volunteer Deb Davis said. “It’s an opportunity to come out, and it consolidates all the shopping.”
Janet Turner was also in Quiet City Books, representing In Your Own Words, based in Greene, which sells greeting cards assembled by local, HIV-positive men and women. The greeting cards are printed with pictures of the LGBT community between 1850 and 1950, and all the proceeds go to the people who made them.