How early is too early to start thinking about Christmas shopping?
It’s never too early for small businesses in 100 Mile House, many of which are already making plans for one of their busiest days of the year.
Moonlight Madness is returning on Friday, Nov. 23. The wildly popular late-night shopping spree will, again, correspond with the 100 Mile House Santa Claus Parade.
The event also falls on Plaid Friday, a twist on Black Friday that highlights local shopping rather than big box business.
Frankie Vitorino, the owner of Outlaw Clothing, says she’s dusting off the Vegas-style wheel for the special sale.
“It’s a lot of fun and I think the whole main event is just to keep people in town, keep people having fun, see families out and about and take in what the community has to offer.”
The store, which celebrated its 36th anniversary this year, will have sales on selected items starting right at 9 a.m.
When the parade starts at 5:30 p.m., customers will be able to spin the wheel to get up to 50 per cent off their purchase.
“It’s just awesome that the community has supported us, and hopefully they’ll continue supporting us,” she said.
Joy Gawne, the co-owner of Nuthatch Books, said the store will be full of balloons starting at 10 a.m. for Moonlight Madness. Each customer can pop a balloon to reveal a discount of 10 to 50 per cent.
“It’s a big day for us, yeah, we have such fun,” said Gawne.
As a small business in a growing town, she said they truly appreciate everybody shopping local.
Kim Taylor, the owner of Whimsey Gifts, said Moonlight Madness is the “biggest day of the year” for her shop.
“It’s a great kick-off to the Christmas season. It just gets everybody out and looking and talking to each other,” she said. “It’s just a fun night.”
Right from at 9 a.m., customers will draw 15 to 40 per cent discounts off their purchases at the till. In honour of Plaid Friday, she’s also holding a blowout sale on plaid fleece blankets.
“I think that if [people] get out and look, they’d be surprised at just how much the different stores can offer.”
She said she’s noticed people being more dilligent about shopping local since the wildfires of 2017.
Janet Lilly, the owner of Our Kitchen Corner, said the major shopping event is important for local vendors.
“I think it’s good for the merchants because it brings people into town, and everything we can do to keep people in our small town and keep our Christmas dollars in town [we will].”
Lilly also co-organizes the Santa Claus Parade. This year’s parade theme will be Winter Wonderland.
“I think with a small town that you have to have a Santa Claus Parade,” she said, adding that anybody can put a float together and participate in the parade, with no restrictions and no fees.
All they ask is that participants complete a registration form as soon as possible, letting them know what will be included aside from the vehicle. This way they can plan the lineup accordingly.
This is Lilly’s third year planning the parade. She said last year was bigger than the previous year and this year, she anticipates, is going to be huge.
“I think the whole night’s fun. It’s just a really nice night for everybody to get out.”
Patti Regan has also been organizing the parade with Lilly. She said it’s become easier every year because so many people pitch in to help.
“The thing I’m looking forward to is everybody participating,” from the people in the parade to those running around in the background and the families watching on the sidewalk, she said.
Regan especially appreciates all of the help from the staff at the South Cariboo Recreation Centre, who spend the whole parade in the Save-On parking lot, making sure floats are organized.