Olds residents braved the minus-20 C weather to shop in town during Midnight Madness on Nov. 18.
The event's numbers were up this year, said Leon Durand, owner of Rips Audio Video and member of the Uptowne Olds committee.
“We had pretty good traffic. Most people find that it really starts going after 6 p.m.,” he said.
“That is normal because it is when the hot dogs and the hot chocolate come out. The biggest time is from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.”
The traffic varied according to the store type.
“I know that in our store, it seemed like a fairly average Midnight Madness as far as traffic,” said Durand.
“Some of the stores I went into were just packed. Certainly any of the stores that were giving out free food, people hung around there longer.”
He said the social aspect of the event is as important as the shopping aspect.
“People know they will run into people they know. They will stop, even though it is 20 below and they will stand out there and visit people,” said Durand.
“Or they all duck into a store and visit. They will shop and they will carry on throughout.”
In some businesses, like reFind and Cocoa Tree, customers were browsing while listening to folk singers strum their guitars.
Shoppers also made the trek to Cornerstone, where quite a few businesses also participated in Midnight Madness.
“Talking to people from the other end of town, they told us they were also busy. That is good to hear,” said Durand.
“It is good to see that people realize the event is a town-wide promotion.”