By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and what better way to stock up on holiday gifts for friends and family than to hit the streets of downtown Picture Butte this Friday night during Midnight Madness, which promises to be bigger and better this year.
Come on out for a night of great local shopping and fun-filled small town events with hot chocolate to warm up shoppers and hot dogs at the North County Recreation Complex.
Santa Claus will also be coming to town to take pictures with kids, so kids better watch out and better not cry and come with a list of presents for the jolly old elf.
“There will be free skating at the arena and businesses will be all participating and there will be different types of deals,” said Katie Forster, from ATB Financial in Picture Butte and a member of the Picture Butte and District Chamber of Commerce. The chamber organizes the event each year.
Businesses will be open late and some will be open until midnight.
Forster believes the annual event has garnered added support, which the organizational committee didn’t have last year but it was decided the Santa Shop will not be featured at this year’s celebrations.
“I think that’s only going to create opportunity for others,” she said, adding one of the reasons for taking the Santa Shop out of the equation was because it wasn’t very busy last year and perhaps next year the shop will return. “We’re just going to play that by ear.”
Also, the organizational committee decided to bump the date of Midnight Madness to the Dec. 4 Friday instead of competing with competing events including Coaldale’s Night of Lights held Nov. 27.
“We’re hoping it will be busier,” Forster said.
Last year, the event was called “Late Night Madness” but the name was changed back to “Midnight Madness.”
“I think people were confused like, ‘are people open until midnight if it’s just called late?’ At the Midnight Madness meeting, we voted and we thought we would go back to Midnight Madness,” said Forster.
Shoppers, Forster said, should come out to Picture Butte and support the community.
ATB Financial, she added, also has a silent auction, which has been running for two weeks.
“That’s all thanks to the local businesses for their donations,” she said.
Money raised goes to the Picture Butte and District Interfaith Food Bank and the Alberta Children’s Hospital. The silent auction runs from 6-8 p.m. with items on display for the remainder of the week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the ATB in Picture Butte.
For a schedule of events check out the Midnight Madness pages.