© Herald photo by Tyler Clarke
Isabella Imports owner Kristi Kelly stand next to her store’s holidays section -- a section prepared for the season that will “make or break it.”
Tonight (Thursday) will be the last kick at the can in the downtown’s pre-Christmas late night shopping series.
The Thursday night shopping series started on Dec. 5 to a slow start, but things picked up by last week’s shop, Prince Albert Downtown Improvement District Association (PADIDA) office administrator Lori Bourne said.
“Last Thursday I just saw dozens of cars going by -- it just seemed busy,” she said.
In addition to several downtown stores remaining open until 8 p.m. or 9 p.m., the PADIDA office is offering hot chocolate and is organizing a travelling caroling group.
“The atmosphere down here is awesome, with the carolers and the hot chocolate at the downtown office,” Ted Matheson Men’s Wear owner Fred Matheson said.
“It’s just like Christmases use to be. It’s almost a calmer atmosphere. It’s not the hustle and the bustle that we’re used to in big box stores.”
Calling the pre-Christmas days the “make it or break it” season, Isabella’s Imports owner Kristi Kelly said that her store is not only participating in Thursday’s event, but is also remaining open late on weekdays through to Christmas.
The atmosphere down here is awesome, with the carolers and the hot chocolate at the downtown office. Fred Matheson
“It’s kind of what you work to all year, and it’s been very profitable and very satisfying for the last 11 years, so hopefully this year’s the same,” she said.
“So far the evenings haven’t been overwhelming, but we’re hoping the next couple will be a bit busier.”
In addition to the availability of free hot chocolate at the PADIDA office, Bison Café will remain open until 8 p.m. on Thursday to accommodate people’s warm drink and tasty treat needs.
Although a handful of stores will close at 8 p.m., Bourne notes that the Gateway Mall, which is also considered part of the city’s downtown improvement district, will be open until 9 p.m.