BENNINGTON -- This Thursday, starting at 7 p.m., the shops in Downtown Bennington will remain open until midnight for the area's annual Midnight Madness extravaganza.
According to the Better Bennington Corporation's president John Shannahan, the event has gained popularity over the years and expanded to include shops outside of Bennington's downtown area as well.
About five years ago, the BBC and Bennington's Chamber of Commerce decided to re-tailor the event to make it more of a shopping event, rather than a street festival, like Mayfest.
"Midnight Madness is one event that is pretty different from most things we do during the year," Shannahan said.
The event attracts shoppers both local and from out of town, as businesses offer favorable deals and discounts behind their doors.
Judy Pennock of Evans' News says shoppers can expect a 15 percent storewide discount with "lots of unadvertised specials on the bargain table, too."
Main Street newcomer, Wave will offer a five to 50 percent off discount throughout the store, while the Village Chocolate Shoppe will set up a booth on the sidewalk with goodies for sale and a "buy one pound of fudge, get a half-pound free" special.
Fiddlehead at Four Corners will be granting a 10 percent-off discount to any purchases made after 8 p.m. and a 20 percent-off discount to purchases made after 10 p.m. Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments and play inside Fiddlehead's graffiti vault.
The Chamber of Commerce will have a booth next to South Street Café with information about Bennington's catamount prowl.
Shannahan says he, and his colleagues, are looking forward to Thursday's event.
"It's a lot of fun," he said. "It's nice to see everyone in the street. Wish it was like that every night!"
To learn more about Midnight Madness, visit Bennington's Chamber of Commerce website at www.bennington.com.
Contact Elizabeth Conkey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @bethconkey.