LEWISTON — Purple snowflake flags lined Lisbon Street on Saturday, as the thoroughfare became a shopping destination.

“It was a wonderful day to walk from one end of downtown Lisbon Street to the other, and many people did it,” said Tamera Grieshaber, an organizer of the fourth annual Sparkle Saturday (previously Sparkle Sunday), a collaboration among multiple Lisbon Street businesses that aims to bring foot traffic downtown. 

“There’s been a Renaissance down here, and we want people to come and see the new businesses,” Grieshaber said. “It was a great way to get people into a lot of businesses.”

Eleven restaurants, and more than 30 local businesses opened their doors, offering gift cards and unique gifts, with businesses like Rinck Advertising and Chill Yoga hosting smaller vendors within their spaces.

Jerry Cass, who with his wife, Joyce, owns Delightful Odds and Herbs at Five Corners in Poland, sold bags of potpourri in a pop-up market in the vacant storefront at 120 Lisbon St.

Delightful Odds and Herbs operates as a greenhouse in the spring, and for over 30 years, Cass has sold potpourri at fairs from September to the Christmas season. As patrons held cups of flavored dried herbs to their noses, Cass said he had a very good day. 

“Smell sells,” he said. “It’s natural, it’s nothing synthetic — people tell me all the time, it’s a smell from their childhood, it brings back childhood memories. Smells trigger things, and people love it.” 

In addition to drawing shoppers to Lisbon Street, local businesses enjoyed the bump in foot traffic. Kimberly Caldwell, owner of Heirloom Arrangements, hosted woodworking and a chocolate vendor at her shop at 50 Lisbon St.

“This is our first year, as we’ve just opened, but I heard it’s the best turnout we’ve seen in recent times,” she said. “They switched from Sunday to Saturday, and the weather cooperated, which is always helpful.” 

Caldwell said her floral centerpieces, each constructed around an antique, were the Christmas gifts that kept on giving.

“We like to incorporate antiques into our arrangements so the antiques outlive the flowers, so it’s a gift that isn’t dead in a week,” she said. 

Shoppers were given a card with 31 participating businesses and restaurants, and tasked with collecting 20 stamps in order to be entered into the grand raffle.

The prize? 

A basket teeming with gift certificates and wares from featured businesses, including flower arrangements, yoga mats and candy.

“It ended up being one heck of a basket,” Grieshaber said.

Deb Davis hands Kathy Saunders a gift that Saunders bought and Davis wrapped during Sparkle Saturday in downtown Lewiston on Saturday. Davis wrapped gifts to raise money for the Lewiston School Department’s Store Next Door Project, a program that provides materials for students who do not have the means to buy them. Davis, the outplace student coordinator for Lewiston schools, said she is saddened by how many homeless students attend Lewiston High School. “A number of my students do not know where they will sleep each night,” Davis said. Saunders is an 18-year teacher at Franklin Alternative School in Auburn. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Kris and Crystal Lachapelle of Lewiston cross Lisbon Street while shopping on Sparkle Saturday in downtown Lewiston. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Downtown Lewiston businesses that participated in Sparkle Saturday displayed the Sparkle flag on Saturday. This flag belonged to Sonder & Dram. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

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