Businesses see heavy traffic for first football weekend

Bulldog Brunch and Browse attendees Paisley Hart and Tonya Hollenhead shop at LA Green and other Main Street shops during the special business hours on Sunday. (Photo by Sarah Raines, SDN)
Staff Writer

Businesses on Main Street saw heavy foot traffic during Sunday's Bulldog Brunch and Browse event, and businesses hope it sets a tone for the rest of the season.

During the Greater Starkville Development Partnership's Bulldog Brunch and Browse event, shops that would normally be closed on Sundays open their doors from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. the day after a home football game, welcoming in guests who may still be in town.

Owner of Occasions Gift Shop and Clothing Boutique Pat Ramsey has participated in the event for years.

"I would say this is probably one of our better Brunch and Browses, even though it's not an SEC game," Ramsey said. "It's one of our better opening games, especially. People really turned out in numbers, so we get to see the residual of that."

Ramsey said she participated in the first Bulldog Brunch and Browse and only saw a few people come in and out of the store, but over the years the event has grown and Sunday traffic didn't even slow during the lunch hour.

Uptown Rustic MS participated in its first football season Bulldog Brunch and Browse since opening in February. Owner Morgan Reed was encouraged by the turnout. The store is located on North Lafayette Street, a few stores away from Main Street. A chalk board was set up on Main Street at the corner of North Lafayette and Main Street announcing that the store was open for the event and pointing shoppers to the boutique.

"Business has been a success, so far," Reed said. "I've had several customers, mostly out of town people, but it has been pretty good so far."

Mathiston resident Tonya Hollenhead, 47, was browsing LA Green with her daughter Paisley Hart, 27, from Inverness. The two were in town for a wedding, and Hart's husband had attended the game on Saturday.

"We just got downtown, we didn't know this was going on," Hollenhead said. "But we love shopping and thought we would make a day of it."

Atlanta native Gianni Dellapina, 21, was working on Saturday and was unable to shop or attend the game, so she used the browsing hours on Sunday to show a friend from Dallas around Starkville Main Street.

"I decided to treat myself," Dellapina said. "It has been a long semester, already. I'm going to buy a shirt or a necklace to wear to the next game."

Bulldog Brunch and Browse takes place every Sunday after a football game, and the next is scheduled for Sep. 17.

Assistant Manager Shelby Marsh at JCG Apparel said this Sunday set a good tone that she hopes will follow through to the rest of the Bulldog Brunch and Browses for the season.

Other businesses that are participating in the event this season include Aspen Bay, the Belle & Beau, the Book Mart & Cafe, CoBo's Boutique, GM, Libby Story, Merle Norman Luna Bella, Midtown Pilates, Nine-Twentynine Coffee Bar, Reed's, R. Tabb & Co. and Swanky B Boutique.