The largest event of the holiday season is cancelled. The traditional Midnight Madness event cannot happen this year due to COVID-19 restrictions but it has been modified.
“We have party atmosphere, and horse riding, and horse carriages and we have a market and of course all of that we can’t do this year. So, we were trying to decide how we could support all of the stores and still have a little bit of fun,” stated Lucy Hoblyn, organiser of Midnight Madness, on the event's traditions.
This year, Midnight Madness will take the format of an advent calendar. Each day leading up to Christmas (24 days), a different shop or restaurant will be featured. Featured businesses will each host a special on their day. As an example, Brome Lake Books will be offering 20 per cent off all books on Dec. 14.
“We are going to focus on a different store every single day, or a business, I should say because there are some restaurants, even though the restaurants are closed they will be able to do take out,” explained Hoblyn.
Citizens who make a purchase from a business on their featured day will be entered into a draw to win a gift card from that business. The value of the gift card will be matched by the town for a second chance to win.
“There’s a second gift certificate that the town has matched the cost of each gift certificate and so there will be a second gift certificate available on the town's Facebook page," Hoblyn said. "And if you make a comment about that store on the day you will have a chance to win a second gift certificate."
There's also a local Christmas market online, but this is not affiliated with the Midnight Madness event.
“It gives each business a little bit of an opportunity to showcase what they have because there is so much in Knowlton … I really hope that lots of people in Knowlton, well Lac Brome I should say, take part in it. We didn’t put it on the tourism website, we didn’t put it in any papers stretching too far away because we wanted it to be a local event for everybody to buy local,” said Hoblyn.
Click here to see the complete Midnight Madness advent calendar.
Here is Lucy Hoblyn speaking with CIDI: