Mid­night Mad­ness in St. Michaels

The Star Democrat - - FRONT PAGE - By CHRIS POLK [email protected]­dem.com

ST. MICHAELS — A jolly time went down on the streets of town Satur­day night, Dec. 1, for “Mid­night Mad­ness,” a fun­packed evening of shop­ping that in­cludes sales, spe­cials, tast­ings, treats, mu­sic, danc­ing, en­ter­tain­ment and prizes.

Crowds packed Tal­bot Street and be­yond as a few rain­drops fell oc­ca­sion­ally — but not enough to dampen spir­its or the debit cards of those who were bent on find­ing that per­fect gift.

The lights were bright, and doors were thrown open way into the night.

And even though it’s Christ­mas all year long at The Christ­mas Shop on Tal­bot Street, the store takes on a mon­u­men­tal pres­ence dur­ing Mid­night Mad­ness.

Store owner Kathy Brown said the crowd fa­vorite that night was or­na­ments.

“We have some­thing for every­body,” she said, quot­ing one of their mot­tos.

A fa­vorite guilty plea­sure — whether it’s peanut but­ter toast, your lat­est movie star crush or scotch and soda — can be hung on a tree in the form of an or­na­ment.

If you’re a mo­tor­head, biker, foot­ball player, lac­tose in­tol­er­ant, a gui­tar af­fi­cionado or health nut, there is some­thing for you, plus lots of things that you haven’t thought of.

Peo­ple filed through as Christ­mas Shop helpers Kelly Hager, Karen Doyle and Peg Favinger served their needs. Ev­ery­one who pur­chased goods at any store dur­ing Mid­night Mad­ness re­ceived raf­fle tick­ets for big draw­ings later in the evening.

Next door at the Old Town Candy Com­pany, owner Mark Schramek said busi­ness was boom­ing.

“It’s our busiest day of the year,” he said.

Hol­i­day shop­pers were ze­ro­ing in on fa­vorite can­dies for friends and rel­a­tives, ac­cord­ing to the staff.

Schramek said one of the store’s most pop­u­lar items is Natasha’s Just Brit­tle, a Mar yland fa­vorite man­u­fac­tured in Bal­ti­more. It was a fi­nal­ist on the list of “Oprah’s Fa­vorite Things” this year, he said.

Other treats cus­tomers stock up on dur­ing the hol­i­days in­clude Car­di­nal Choco­lates made in Vir­ginia and the stores’s own hand­made sea salt and caramel truf­fles.

Af­ter 11 p.m., things be­gan to reach a fever pitch with D.J. Mark Sav­age rock­ing the town, spin­ning tunes for a large group line danc­ing on Tal­bot Street.

The St. Michaels Po­lice De­part­ment guarded the dancers and kept mo­torists un­der con­trol.

Sav­age and Mid­night Mad­ness or­ga­niz­ers were camped out un­der a large tent on the porch of The Gal­ley restau­rant. They were warmed by a con­tainer camp­fire and basked in the glow of a fes­tive hol­i­day tree.

Eight gi­ant gift bas­kets with prizes to­tal­ing thou­sands of dol­lars in value were the draw­ing prizes. They con­tained rare bot­tles of wine, night stays at the Inn at Perry Cabin by Bel­mond and a wide ar­ray of lo­cal good­ies, or­ga­niz­ers said.

Mid­night Mad­ness was made pos­si­ble by many vol­un­teers. The bas­kets were cre­ated mainly through the ef­forts of Eileen Mor­gan and J.C. Bridges.

Brad Fout and Bob Eh­lers as­sisted Sav­age as the hour of the draw­ing drew nigh.

Im­promptu singers stepped up to the mi­cro­phone, in­clud­ing St. Michaels High School stu­dents Jayde Gil­liece, Ly­dia Shrevs, Cat Jones, Sa­van­nah Ste­wart and Adri­anna DiSil­ve­stro singing “Jin­gle Bell Rock.”

Carly Nus­baum and Carter La­man sang “Feliz Navi­dad.”

Santa showed up to help with the draw­ing, and St. Michaels six­th­grader Grace Gal­lagher roamed up and down Tal­bot Street as the tallest elf ever.

Mid­night Mad­ness is a pre­lude for Christ­mas in St. Michaels, a town­wide cel­e­bra­tion this com­ing week­end.

The fa­mous Christ­mas in St. Michaels Gin­ger­bread Con­test will be on dis­play Fri­day through Sun­day in the Woman’s Club of St. Michaels on St. Mary’s Square; the Yule­tide Party will be at the Miles River Yacht Club Fri­day evening; Break­fast with Santa on Satur­day morn­ing will be at the Light­house Oys­ter Bar & Grill on Mul­berry Street; St. Luke’s United Methodist Church will serve a hol­i­day break­fast Satur­day morn­ing; start­ing 10:30 a.m., Tal­bot Street will be blocked off for the St. Michaels hol­i­day pa­rade; an Old Fash­ioned Eastern Shore Christ­mas Din­ner will be ser ved at mid­day Satur­day at the Union United Methodist Church Par­ish Hall; af­ter the pa­rade, there will be Christ­mas Fun for kids at the St. Michaels school com­plex, in­clud­ing talk­ing with Santa, a Christ­mas store, face paint­ing and a visit by Ma­jor League Bse­ball star Harold Baines; and the Christ­mas in St. Michaels Tour of Homes will be a rare op­por­tu­nity.

The an­nual Christ­mas Train Vil­lages at the St. Michaels Com­mu­nity Cen­ter will be­gin Fri­day, Dec. 7, and lasts un­til Wed­nes­day, Dec. 12, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Baked goods and crafts will be on sale Satur­day and Sun­day.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www. christ­masin­st­michaels.org.

PHOTO BY CHRIS POLK

A large group line dances near Tal­bot Street to tunes spun by D.J. Mark Sav­age as the hour of prize draw­ing ap­proaches dur­ing Mid­night Mad­ness in St. Michaels. The cen­ter of ac­tion was un­der a large tent set up at The Gal­ley restau­rant.

PHOTO BY CHRIS POLK

As mid­night ap­proaches, a large crowd cov­ers Tal­bot Street to hear the prize win­ners dur­ing Mid­night Mad­ness in St. Michaels on Satur­day evening.

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