By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
Tis the season of giving, and the Picture Butte Chamber of Commerce is helping you do just that.
Running from 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday, Nov. 23, businesses around Picture Butte will be open late to allow shoppers to take advantage of special deals and get their holiday shopping done during the chamber’s annual Midnight Madness event.
“We always have a lot of people shopping late,” said Annie Van der Veen, chamber member and one of the event’s organizers. “The whole atmosphere is lots of fun… It’s a festive atmosphere.”
Businesses around Picture Butte will be open late to allow shoppers to take advantage of special deals and get their holiday shopping done. For those who have already gotten their loved ones gifts, there are plenty of other activities going on throughout the evening.
Free hayrides around town will be starting at 6:30 p.m. A free skate event will be going a little later in the evening, as there is a hockey tournament going until 8 p.m. at the arena.
Hockey lovers are welcome to watch the game beforehand.
Santa Claus will be available to meet the youth in the former drugstore on Main Street from 6:30-8 p.m.
A silent auction will take place at ATB Financial — with the proceeds doing towards the Picture Butte Interfaith Food Bank and Alberta Children’s Hospital.
One notable difference is that there won’t be a 50/50 fundraiser for the fire department this year, due to recent rule changes from the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Corporation.
“Because of changing rules from the (AGLC), it’s a little late to come up with a whole new fundraiser,” said Van der Veen, adding that they will come up with a different fundraiser for next year.
Midnight Madness will also pay host to the grand opening of an outdoor skating rink, a project from the Picture Butte Firefighter’s association. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 6 p.m.
Skating is expected to take place at the rink — whether it’s frozen or not.
“Of course, it’s an outdoor rink, we never know if it’s frozen or not. We might have a Chinook, who knows?” said Van der Veen. “They are planning on having it open for skating if it freezes. If not, they’re planning on having it open for roller-blading, if people want to do that.
“Weather or no weather, there’s something to do.”
Basketball hoops have also been installed at the rink, so if people would prefer to play a few games of basketball instead they can.