BENNINGTON >> Merchants across town will again keep their doors propped open well into the late night on Thursday for the annual traditional of Midnight Madness.
Dozens of businesses across town are expected to stay open until midnight, or a couple hours before, for the annual event.
Now in it's 53rd year, it's a tradition that pre-dates the Better Bennington Corporation, according to Executive Director John Shannahan. The organization helps promote the event.
"The unique thing about this event is that it's controlled by the merchants," he said. "The only thing we agree on is the time. Some will stay open until midnight, others may close at 10 p.m. What each business does is a reflection of that business. You'll find something different at every place you go."
Many stores will close at 5 p.m. to ready for the event and reopen at 7 p.m. Main Street businesses will offer live music, raffles, and killer deals for shoppers.
A shopper's best bet, Shannahan said, is to park in one of the municipal lots.
Bennington Potters will have 20,000 pieces of pottery for sale up to 75 percent off, according to the business' Facebook page, and store overstocks will be up to 80 percent off.
Jay's Art Shop and Frame Gallery on South Street has advertised that, between 7 p.m. and midnight, everything in the store will be 50 percent off, excluding custom framing and gift cards.
The Tap House at Catamount Glass will host the Julie Shea Band starting at 7 p.m., according to a Facebook post. Catamount Glassware products will be for sale up to 50 percent off in the retail space. Ten percent of all retail sales will be donated by the Tap House to the Bennington Little League, and Catamount Glass will match the Tap House donation.
Evan's News will offer 15 percent off storewide, excluding the Carlsen Collection of gems and minerals and any special orders or items on layaway. They'll also offer fresh popcorn and water for $1 each in front of the store. Shoppers will get a raffle ticket for every $10 they spend. At 9:30 p.m., there will be a drawing to win a quart of locally produced maple syrup.
Some other of the many businesses that will be open include Here We Grow Consignment Shop from 6 to 10 p.m. and Radioshack from 5 to 11 p.m. Radioshack will offer 30 percent off select speakers and headphones, and sales on items from batteries to drones.
— Contact Ed Damon at 802-447-7567, ext. 111.