Last updated: September 09. 2013 5:09PM - 199 Views

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Downtown Sedalia merchants are hoping to encourage residents with a sweet tooth to stop by Saturday during the second annual Chocolate Crawl.

This year 20 businesses will offer sweet treats to shoppers with the goal of getting more people to think about shopping downtown.

“Last year’s Chocolate Crawl was a great success. The merchants loved it,” said Meg Liston, administrator of Sedalia Downtown Development, Inc. “An event like this, a lot of times it’s about getting people into the store. They may not buy anything that day, but they’re reminded that we have all these great local businesses downtown.”

Wine and More owner Turf Martin agreed, saying it was all about getting people to the area.

“There’s a lot more here (in the downtown area) than people think,” he said. “Anything we can do to attract people to downtown is a good thing as far as I’m concerned.”

Martin will offer chocolate wine tastings for those 21 and over during the crawl.

“Last year we did something similar and people really seemed to like it,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a great event, the weather is supposed to be nice and hopefully a lot of people will be coming by.”

Chocolate crawlers are encouraged to stop by as many participating businesses as possible. Each will receive a registration card and those who visit 15 or more businesses will be entered into a drawing for a gift basket filled with merchandise from downtown stores. Those who visit all 20 retailers will be entered into the drawing twice.

“SDDi will set up a headquarters at the old Ivy Cottage building at 217 S. Ohio Ave. which is where they should drop off their registration cards,” Liston said. “It gives people a little incentive to visit all the participating stores.”

Rock N Rollers Hair Studio owner Beth Lea said she was looking forward to the crawl, but hoping for better weather this year.

“Last year was incredibly cold, but we did have a lot of people stop in,” she said. “It was nice to see people out around downtown, seeing what we have to offer, so this year we knew we wanted to participate again.”

Lea said the salon will have cupcakes and homemade chocolate cake cookies, as well as candy to give out.

“Anytime you can promote the downtown area is great,” she said. “(SDDi) especially, has been a great resource for us and really encourages all the downtown businesses to promote things together.”

“It’s important for downtown business owners to band together for things,” Liston said. “With an event like this, you’re encouraging people to come downtown and stay a while, to stop in multiple businesses. It’s been such a success so far and (SDDi) is looking at having more, similar downtown community events.”

The chocolate crawl will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at various downtown businesses.

For more information, call Sedalia Downtown Development, Inc. at 827-7388.

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