By Joseph Cyr
HOULTON — Bargain hunters were out in force July 3 as the Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce held the 24th annual Midnight Madness event.
Houlton Pioneer Times Photo/Joseph Cyr
TUNE-MEISTER — Tim Humphrey entertains children in Market Square during Midnight Madness Saturday, July 3. Downtown Houlton, as well as business along North Street participated in the 24th annual Midnight Madness event.
“Midnight Madness is the one event that is truly focused on the retail community,” said Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lori Weston. “It is all about bringing folks into the community to shop incredible sales.”
Market Square in downtown Houlton was closed to vehicle traffic for the event, allowing bargain hunters to roam freely through the streets. Shoppers could also find sales at many North Street businesses.
As has been the case in previous years, sales became more lucrative the later it got Saturday evening, culminating with the rock-bottom specials at midnight.
Secondary events, such as a performance by McGill’s Community Band in Monument Park, street vendors and musical performances in Market Square have been added through the years and Saturday night was no exception.
“Those are things that give reason for folks to stay in town, reunite with old and new friends, listen to local talent and just enjoy the ambience of the event,” Weston said.
More than 50 retail merchants participated in Midnight Madness this year, opening their doors with sales to the public.
The theme of “An Old Fashioned 4th of July” was embraced by a number of businesses, as they decorated patriotically for the event, Weston said. The winner of this year’s decorating contest was once again, the Courtyard Café.
“Joyce [Transue] and her crew created a patriotic menu along with patriotic signature drinks for their customers,” Weston said. “The efforts of the merchants to join in the spirit of the themes each year adds to the fun of the event.”
Marden’s finished in second place, while Cozy Corner was third.
“Attendance appeared to be down from last year, though not by much,” Weston said. “It was an all-day and night event this year, beginning with the Community Market in the early morning, Arts and Crafts in Monument Park, McGill’s Band, Tim the Tune Man, Double Tap Blues and Live Music as the day and evening progressed, not to mention the sales going on!”
Weston said she welcomes input from the public on ways to improve Midnight Madness. Contact Weston at 532-4216.
By Joseph Cyr