Hamilton’s citywide, weeklong party starts Monday, Sept. 11 when the inaugural Hospitality Week kicks off.
Hamilton Hospitality Week is the city’s effort to celebrate businesses and nonprofits ― and then some ― who welcome and host patrons, from bars, restaurants and hotels to the retail shops and the performing and creative arts.
“A lot of people are putting their best foot forward,” said Tyler McCleary, a co-founding member of the Hamilton Amusement and Hospitality Association (HAHA). “It’s been a crazy past couple of years, especially here in Hamilton. Let’s take time and celebrate all things good about the city of Hamilton.”
While the events and activities are still being finalized in this first year, each day of Hamilton Hospitality Week will have a theme. Monday is Create, Tuesday is Eat, Wednesday is Treat, Thursday is Shop, Friday is Drink, Saturday is Shop Play and Stay, and Sunday is Unwind.
At the end of the week, Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dan Bates said he’d like to be able to say, “Everybody pulled together, worked together, and provided an unforgettable experience for customers in Hamilton.”
Given that this is the first year for the event, Bates said it’s hard to say how many will actually partake in the weeklong Hamilton celebration.
“I would hope we can at least attract several hundred people that might not have been here during the week,” he said. “But you never know.”
While events and activities are still being planned by the various businesses around the city, there are a few things that are known to be happening during Hamilton Hospitality Week.
Every day of the week, many of the food and beverage establishments will celebrate Y Not Eat Local, where portions of proceeds of food and drink specials and other deals will be donated to the YMCA’s Achievers Club, which provides teens with tools to pursue higher education and career opportunities.
But certain days will have special events, including getting the arts involved on Wednesday where there will be two ballet performances at Journal Square near Luke’s Cakes, which will be hosting a cake decorating class that same day.
On Thursday, artists will be painting outside various businesses and restaurants throughout the Marcum corridor in what’s being dubbed “Artspitality.”
“Since we got the arts involved, this week has taken some pretty cool forms,” said McCleary.
Also on Thursday, Municipal Brew Works and Wildfire Hygge Goods will be doing a plant swap at the bar at the backside of 20 High St., where people can bring plant clippings, plants, gardening accessories and their best growing tips and tricks.
Unsung Salvage is also planning to do some T-shirt pressing at Municipal Brew Works.
On Friday, 13 of the city’s bars and restaurants will have guest bartenders from 6 to 8 p.m., and at 8 p.m., each establishment will be on Facebook Live to host their own citywide toast as a “Cheers to Hamilton.” Later, each recorded toast will be compiled in a video collage or montage, McCleary said.
That “Cheers to Hamilton” really demonstrates the collaboration the city, from business leaders and owners to artists to city officials to the average citizen, does on a regular basis.
When a more complete list of activities and events is finalized, the Journal-News will publish it.
“There’s a lot of good stuff coming and we also have a lot to celebrate, but we want to make sure we take a second to enjoy what we have now and create that lively buzz around Hamilton,” he said. “I think people know what we have in our backyard, but I want people outside of Hamilton to know, ‘We have a lot of good stuff going on here.’”