Students, locals, and visitors bustled around the streets of downtown Sackville for Midnight Madness. The event, hosted twice a year in the two months before Christmas, was host to a shopping frenzy with numerous sales and promotions from local businesses.
This year, Midnight Madness took place on Friday, Nov. 14, and is scheduled again for Friday, Dec. 5.
“It creates an atmosphere in the frenzy,” Salvation Army manager Nancy Somerville said. “It’s that first touch of Christmas.”
“Midnight Madness gives us a great boost going into the holidays,” said Jeff MacKinnon of the natural skin care company, Anointment.
MacKinnon set up shop in his usual Saturday morning farmer’s market spot in the Bridge Street Café during Midnight Madness.
“I think it’s a very Sackville thing,” said second-year art history student Kaoru Yui.
Yui, who is from Japan, compared the local event as quite different from events held in big cities like Tokyo.
“So many students went,” Yui said. “Everyone looked so happy.”
Midnight Madness had attractions including a full house of local vendors selling handmade food and products in the Bridge Street Café, a $4 peppermint milkshake promotion at Mel’s, Salvation Army sales, and visits with Santa Claus.
“Sales are better because of the volume of customers,” said Somerville.
“We have triple the sales of a typical farmer’s market,” MacKinnon said. “It all just depends on what shows up.”
“This year we have a ton of Christmas decorations, so those were promoted,” said Somerville.
Midnight Madness coordinator Paul Merrigan promoted the event on social media, including live tweeting on Twitter. The Midnight Madness Facebook page was particularly active in the run up to and during the event, highlighting a number of sales and events during the evening.
“It really seemed like a lot more people knew about the event this year,” said MacKinnon. Mount Allison’s CHMA-106.9 FM volunteer correspondent Katharyn Stevenson and spoken word director Michael Freeman also live reported the event on the radio.
“I think it’s important to cover events such as Midnight Madness because it helps to bring the Town of Sackville community together with the university community,” said Stevenson.