Dowagiac’s annual Spring Open House to arrive April 19-20

Published 2:01 pm Thursday, April 4, 2024

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DOWAGIAC — Live mannequins and strolling musicians are coming to downtown Dowagiac for this community’s Spring Open House Weekend April 19 and 20.

The second-annual event was organized by Vickie Phillipson, owner of Cottage Gallery, and Claudia Zebell, owner of Rosy Tomorrows.  During its first year, the promotion focused on in-store sales. 

“As we grow the community event, we are pleased this year to roll out a spring runway of live storefront window mannequins on Saturday, April 20,  from Noon to 2 p.m.,” Phillipson said.  

“Spring Open House is being underwritten by our friends and associates at Family Fare, Garage Doors Plus More and Honor Credit Union.  With their help, we are excited to feature activities on Saturday afternoon to engage the public.”

In addition to the live mannequins, musicians Jeff Neumann of Farm Bureau Insurance and John Seculoff of Edward Jones will stroll in and out of each of the 11 host businesses downtown from Noon to 3 p.m., singing and performing on guitar.

A children’s Princess Tea Party will be held at Caruso’s Candy Kitchen, hosted by the Miss Dowagiac Scholarship Pageant and its Court of Honor.  “Thanks to our corporate sponsors, the children’s event, which begins at 1:30 p.m., is a free presentation,” Phillipson said.  

Seating is limited to 20 children, who will receive a tiara and enjoy cookies, storytime and photos with Miss Dowagiac before they stroll Front Street.  To reserve a seat at the tea, families should call (269) 591-9185.

Downtown businesses hosting Spring Open House Weekend include: Bow Wow Bakery & Bath, Caruso’s, Cottage Gallery, Deck the Halls, Flowers by Anna, The Marshall Shoppe, Oh My – Old Made New, Olympia Books, Rosy Tomorrows, Vincent J. Jewelers and Who Knew? Consignment. 

“The weekend event provides Dowagiac specialty shops with the opportunity to showcase their new spring and summer merchandise,” Phillipson said.  “The weekend event opens on Friday, April 19, with in-store promotions as businesses also feature drawings, sweet treats or giveaways.  On Saturday, as activities gear up for the community, guest vendors will join us downtown.”

Bow Wow Bakery & Bath will feature the animal rescue group, SNAP of Michigan, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.  Families can meet two rescue dogs that will be up for adoption.

On Friday and Saturday, customers at Cottage Gallery will receive a complimentary carnation with their purchase and enjoy sweet treats and a drawing.

At Flowers by Anna, children on Saturday can make a flower crown for $10 and participate in chalk art, drawing spring flowers on the sidewalk.

The Marshall Shoppe on Saturday from 10 to 5 p.m. will host Mandy Wallace, owner of Acres of Grace, a Dowagiac company that produces all-natural soap made with high-quality oils, handcrafted in her kitchen.  

At Oh My, Old Made New, owner Dawn Schlipp welcomes Camryn Busby with her permanent jewelry from 11 to 3 p.m. Product samples will be available throughout the weekend for customers to enjoy at Rosy Tomorrows.

Phillipson said shop owners and our corporate sponsors are pleased to feature this special weekend as we kick off the 2024 tourist season and welcome milder weather.