Carriage rides, golden tickets added to ChickFest 2019 offerings

To The Press

The best shopping day of the year in Charles City may have just gotten even better.

The ChickFest retail spring tradition offers a special shopping experience that includes deals, discounts, demonstrations, pampering and free gifts, while showcasing Charles City’s varied and unique retail offerings.

It has become the biggest shopping day of the year for many merchants, and is coming up again on Saturday, April 6. said Mark Wicks, Charles City community development director.

Two new offerings have been added to this latest version of ChickFest. The first is a chance to score a free gift or discount at one of the participating businesses by finding a Golden Ticket in one of the gift bags to be given out beginning at 9 a.m. at the Charles City Area Chamber of Commerce.

The first 150 shoppers in line and through the door at 401 N. Main St. will receive a bag with assorted promotions from participating businesses. A number of those bags will also contain the special Golden Tickets, randomly distributed.

The second addition to ChickFest this year will be horse-drawn carriage rides by Top Hat Carriage Service.

Loading at Central Park, across from the Chamber on Blunt Street, the rides around downtown will be offered on a freewill donation basis to promote and support a new non-profit called Magdalene’s Light. It is a residential and vocational program being established at Cedar Springs Camp near Floyd for abused and trafficked women.

“We’re excited about this great opportunity to add to your shopping experience while in Charles City for the day,” said Wicks, who suggested a donation of $10 or more per person for the 20-25 minute carriage rides.

“If you have ever been to Canal Park in Duluth, Minnesota, Top Hat is the same company that provides the carriage rides up there,” Wicks said. “They are offering to do this for ChickFest in support of the Magdalene’s Light effort.”

In addition to the regular shopping options, ChickFest will also include indoor farmers market vendors and in-home businesses set up around town.

“Whether it’s a girls day out or a family excursion, come celebrate spring with your ‘peeps’ and enjoy what Charles City has to offer,” Wicks said.

For more information on ChickFest and the community’s other attractions, visit, call 641-228-4234 or email