Party Harty Battles Pop-Up

For 28 years, Party Harty has been a Westport favorite. They’re the go-to place for birthday supplies, graduation balloons, decorations for the holiday du jour: Thanksgiving, New Year’s, Memorial Day — you name it.

The next holiday is Halloween. And Party Harty is worried.

Before Halloween last year, a Party Harty customer posed with the Haunted Tree Man.

Before Halloween last year, a Party Harty customer posed with the Haunted Tree Man.

A temporary pop-up shop has opened not far away on the Post Road, at the site of a former furniture consignment store. It’s big; it’s bright orange — and it’s temporary.

“We give our heart and soul to the community to help celebrate Halloween,” Party Harty’s owner Susan Marshall — who admits it’s important to her bottom line — says.

She’s concerned about the precedent: that insta-stores will come and go, drawing customers while not contributing to the community in the long run.

Party Harty is part of Westport. They offer discounts to schools, town organizations, the library, non-profits and religious groups. They — like their next door neighbor Mitchells — are always ready to give a donation or buy a program book ad.

“Give us a chance,” Marshall says. “Don’t assume that a ‘Halloween Store’ will offer anything more than we do. We’ll be here year-round — and hope to continue in a community-minded way.”

13 responses to “Party Harty Battles Pop-Up

  1. Karen Kramer

    We will try party hearty tomorrow . We want to support local folk

  2. Melissa Griffin

    I love the fact you bring stories like this to our attention Dan! I will def make sure I pop into Party Harty and check out their Halloween gear before going anywhere else!

  3. Doris Levinson

    Party Harty is a Westport treasure. We’ve got to keep here! I shop there for library supplies for various receptions and they are helpful, friendly, great prices and have an amazing variety of things.

  4. Beth Berkowitz

    I always try to go to Party Harty first whenever we are having an event or a party. Unfortunately, we don’t have too many events that we need these kind of things. Wish we could support them even more.

  5. Lynore Aaron

    Party Harty is the only place I go to for my grandchildren’s birthday party goods. They are always helpful! I would not think of going to another store for any of my party goods…..Halloween included!

  6. Terry brannigan

    It’s a double whammy. Not only do they have to contend with pop-ups but also sanctions against costumes in general and the general pull back of fun in the schools in general!

    I get the focus on safety but by way of example, at Long Lots in one year they abolished dress up for “the first 100 days”, t “Monster Mash” AND the decoration of lockers

    Btw: Party Harty has bailed the Brannigan’s out more than a few times!

  7. Sanrdra Calise Cenatiempo

    We love Party Harty and we love Sue and all her staff. I have been in there many times when a frantic person has come in for a last minute, forgotten item and they all come to the rescue….or maybe I was that frantic person! LOL! Love them and Party Harty! Shopping local is the way to go!

  8. Virginia Tienken

    We stopped at the big “orange popup” the other day and when asked for an item the clerk pointed to the back of the store. There were racks and racks of items and we gave up looking. At that point she said I could go look for you but she was eating her lunch and didn’t want to stop apparently. We said no thanks and left. We shall be at Party Harty tomorrow.

  9. Party Harty is a WONDERFUL member of our Westport community. They have always gone above and beyond to provide discounts to school and scouting events requiring decorations, balloons and other goodies they offer. Their prices are competitive but more important, their service is exemplary. Last June I was in charge of decorating the Kings Highway Elementary gym for the morning 5th grade graduation. I needed a LARGE amount of helium balloons to be filled in the morning and picked up 9 a.m. Even though the store regular opens at 10 a.m. they came in at 8 am, filled the balloons and had them ready for me by 9 a.m. (In case you missed the math–they opened 2 hours early for me and Kings Hwy). On top of that, they gave us a 10% discount. This pop-up store surely will not do that!! Thank you Party Harty!!

  10. Nancy Powers Conklin

    Out here in Tucson we have plenty of these “pop-up” temporary Halloween stores. I have never been in one and would not even think of going into one. They come into town one day and are opened for business for maybe, two months. They leave in the dark of night and are gone. I would prefer to frequent local businesses that are available year round. Tucson has many used clothing shops and they seem to do a booming business around Halloween. They are here day in and day out and have a reputation with the community. Forget the other pop-ups. When they are gone, they are gone!

  11. My favorite shop in Westport, Sue is the nicest. I have been shopping at Party Harty for over 20 years. Entering Sue’s shop means one thing FUN AHEAD. THEY ARE THE BEST!!!!!!!!

  12. And it isn’t fair to PARTY HARTY that the “pop up store” is blatently violating Westport’s zoning limits on signage. The entire front facade is a sign as it most of its easterly facade. Meantime, our local merchants comply. Go figure.

  13. One question about the pop-up store, are their full-building signs legal?

    It seems that Westport doesn’t enforce their sign regulations, but this would seem to be a case where interlopers shouldn’t be allowed to skirt regulations that others follow. – Chris Woods