Midnight Madness returns July 18

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BENNINGTON — What started as a merchant promotion over 25 years ago has become an institution in Bennington. The third Thursday in July has been celebrated as the greatest shopping event of the year throughout downtown and in many locations around town. Beginning at 7 p.m. today, almost all downtown shops reopen with specials and activities and many remain open until midnight. Some shops offer 50 percent off their entire inventory, while others have special in-store events and activities.

"Places like Jay's Art Shop and the Gift Garden will be crowded with people all night, because they are offering half-off on their entire inventories," John Shannahan, director of the Better Bennington Corporation, said. "Others have different deals, but stay open late to welcome shoppers and host in-store events."

Midnight Madness is also about coming downtown on a hot summer night just to walk around, catch a play at Oldcastle, enjoy ice cream, gelato, or Fro-yo at multiple locations, or simply people-watch. It's a night when almost everyone stops downtown at least for a little while.

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