BENNINGTON — Sales, food, laughter and music filled the crevices of downtown on Thursday night as folks ventured from business to business for the annual Midnight Madness.
Doors closed at 5 p.m. but opened back up from 7 p.m. to midnight, or a few hours before. This is the event's 53rd year.
Bennington Potters drew the biggest crowd for sales up to 75 percent off on 20,000 pieces of pottery.
Wanda Duval from Canyon City, Colo. based her vacation time around the event. She comes to Vermont to visit family and got in line at the pottery store at 5:15 p.m. with her grandchildren and children's wagon to be used as a shopping cart.
"I plan to get a wagon full of stuff, and I'll pick stuff up for my sister in South Carolina," she said.
Others lined County Street and beyond the stop light at Park Street.
On Main Street, Bringing You Vermont put up a tent on the sidewalk and sold lemonade, and grilled hotdogs and hamburgers. Panache clothing store offered face painting. Closer to four corners, Bennington Fire Department sold raffle tickets.
At Jay's Art Shop & Frame Gallery, Susan Walsh from Bennington returned to do holiday shopping.
"Last year I got a lot of Christmas buys. I went to Bennington Potters then went to Panache and got myself a dress and silk top," she said. "I made out quite well. Here it's 50 percent off!"
Holy Cow Frozen Yogurt had dessert for 25 percent off, Evans' News sold items at 15 percent off and the Village Chocolate Shoppe offered fudge discounts. Other vendors participants include Efficiency Vermont, Greater Bennington Interfaith Council, and the Democratic Party of Bennington County.
—Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-447-7567, ext. 118.