South Peace News
Stores in the Smoky River region bustled with shoppers during Midnight Madness Nov. 26.
The promotion was hosted by the Smoky River Regional Chamber of Commerce.
New chamber president Nichole Simard says the annual event to promote Christmas shopping in local businesses was a big hit.
“We asked businesses in Falher, McLennan and Girouxville to consider staying open to 8 p.m. and to offer shopping discounts if they’d like,” Simard says.
“Across all three communities, we had 20 participating businesses.
“Not all were able to stay open late, but we appreciate the community spirit.”
Many shoppers also showed their support for local businesses.
“Businesses appreciated the effort and the main retailers saw the biggest increase in foot traffic,” Simard says.
Shoppers missed the Passport to Christmas program, a former longtime popular part of Midnight Madness.
The event was planned after the new board was elected at its annual general meeting Oct. 28.
“We know we need more lead time next year,” Simard says.
“And we’ll be doing the Passport to Christmas program next year for sure.
“That was requested by nearly everyone.”
Martin Deerline in Falher won top prize for the Best Decorated Business for Midnight Madness.
“They had the most eye-catching display with a tractor all lit up with flashing Christmas lights and their sprayer looking like a Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer complete with a shiny red nose,” Simard says.
“They had a great indoor display for their children’s ride-on toys hand made by one of their staff.”
Beckie Rudneski, of Nampa, won the $200 cash prize for shoppers.
“Smoky River Regional Economic Development donated a cash prize so shoppers were able to enter a draw for that prize at participating businesses,” Simard says.
During the day, people were able to donate toys and cash to the Smoky River Christmas Voucher Program organized by Smoky River Family and Community Support Services (FCSS).