CARSON CITY — A longtime Carson City holiday tradition is getting a boost this year when downtown businesses present their annual Moonlight Madness event on Thursday, Nov. 8.
According to Holly Keiffer, manager of Harvey’s Farm and Garden, the Moonlight Madness sale was once a monumental undertaking, one that brought in visitors from throughout the area. Keiffer hopes to see a return this year to that former glory.
“We have it every year,” Keiffer said, “but it got kind of … I don’t know … smaller. It used to be just huge. It was like Halloween night. There were people crowding the streets. I don’t know if it’s the economy or what, but it just kind of slowed down.”
In the 1980s and 1990s, most downtown businesses used the event as a sort of Christmas shopping season kick-off. That’s something Keiffer would like to see happen again.
“The big thing with me is to promote local shopping,” Keiffer said. “So many people in our community don’t really shop here, many of them don’t even know what we have. Something like this give people a chance to stop a browse through every store, to check out places they don’t ordinarily go.”
Part of the problem with generating enthusiasm for the event in recent years is that so many businesses come and go in Carson City. Many of the new businesses aren’t even aware the Moonlight Madness sale is happening and that they can take part in it.
“The bigger, established stores all know about it,” Keiffer said. “But the new guys may not have heard of it.”
That’s another issue Keiffer hopes to rectify this year. She and other downtown business owners have planned special sales and will be offering free food, giveaways, drawings and other enticements in an effort to get shoppers to spend their money locally.
“I would like to encourage people to get out and shop locally,” Keiffer said. “Sometimes it’s just nice to get out in your own town and look at what the stores have to offer.”
Lana Litwiller, owner of Lola’s Flower Garden on East Main Street, said her business would observing the Moonlight Madness event with sales throughout the entire day.
“We’ll be going all day from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.,” Litwiller said. “We’re going to have sales going on and food and all that. We’ll probably do a drawing for a couple giveaways.”
Like Lola’s, many stores will be offering special savings throughout the day, but the “official” Moonlight Madness event runs from 5 to 8 p.m.