Overlooking Ucluelet’s Main Street shopping district, Ucluelet Chamber of Commerce executive director Laurie Filgiano cozies up with ‘Snowy’, the beloved decorating contest trophy. (Nora O’Malley photo)

Ucluelet’s Midnight Madness shopping spree gets a stiff shot of madness this weekend

"As a community, I think we will come out of this stronger."

Ucluelet Chamber of Commerce executive director Laurie Filgiano aptly sums up the theme behind this year’s annual Midnight Madness shopping celebration:

“It’s going to be a lot more madness this year than midnight.”

Some retailers, like the Place TV, aren’t even around anymore. Others, like Pina Boutique, are solely open to private and online shopping. The few shops that remain open to the public are doing so ever so cautiously, with Christmas cheer and community spirit top of mind.

Courtney Johnson, co-owner of Image West Gallery, says we all deserve some kindness, happiness and holiday cheer. She is hosting a ‘How the COVID Grinch almost stole Midnight Madness Sale’ from Nov. 25 to Dec. 2.

“I’m going to be perfectly honest, 2020 has been a dumpster fire. There isn’t one person that hasn’t been affected by SOME part of it. Everyone is either missing someone they can’t be with, faced with extra stresses, or shedding a few additional tears. I know that has definitely been true for me,” wrote Johnson in an email.

“Yes, I think it’s important to be a part of Midnight Madness and support local business. But more importantly, I think it’s important for people to not feel alone, especially at this time of year,” she continued. “I’m looking forward to seeing people in our community in the coming days and weeks (at their comfort level, of course), and help put smiles on their faces during this festive season.”

Filgiano, who joined the Chamber about a month ago when Lara Kemps took on a managerial role at Black Rock, said she hopes businesses will try extra hard to light up the town with decorations for COVID-19 Christmas 2020, plus the coveted ‘Snowy’ trophy.

She told the Westerly that Tofino and Ucluelet merchants appear to be a bit of anomaly when compared to the rest of the Island.

“We did really well this year. Of course some businesses were harder hit than others, and that’s why [the Chambers] are here to support all of the businesses, hard hit or not. The feeling I’m getting is that people aren’t drowning in terms of having bad a season, I think people are exhausted,” notes Filgiano.

“As a community, I think we will come out of this stronger and with a whole new set of tools to really grow as a business economy,” she went on to say.

The Ucluelet Chamber of Commerce has also organized a Miles Passport Program; patrons that shop at more than 50 per cent of participating businesses are entered into a draw for several local prize packs. The Miles Passport Program runs from Nov. 27-Dec.15. For West Coasters wanting to know more about the sales and where to get a Miles Card, check-out the Ucluelet Chamber of Commerce ‘Midnight Madness Community Directory’ below.

nora.omalley@westerlynews.caLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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