While some may have it all done, the Annual Downtown Napanee Shopping Party is what others wait for to get their Christmas shopping in full gear–and get it done! The 10th Annual party is all set for this Friday, December 15, from 6 to 9 p.m. Spearheaded by Cat Monster at Starlet Boutique, this event has more than 30 businesses participating this year, and many will have special treats, discounts, displays and activities.
Along with giving residents and visitors a chance to have some fun and get some shopping done, this is also a time when the merchants give back to the community as a thank you for the support shown to them all year. Non-perishable food and cash donations will be gathered at the various shops for several charities including MorningStar Mission, the Salvation Army, Interval House, and the Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre.
“That’s the main drive behind the Shopping Party,” Cat said. “We want the community to help us help these charities that help so many, especially at this time of year.”
The Big Bright Light Show will light the way as you make your way from store to store checking out all of the activities. Here are just a few highlights to entice you:
Santa will be at Chill: Lifestyle for Kids ready to have photos taken. One or two of his reindeer will be visiting from the Sherwood Reindeer Farm, where they spend a lot of time.
Music will be in the air and in the cafes. Carollers from Trinity United Church may be going from store to store singing traditional favourites, and there will be music to listen to while you relax in our cafes and restaurants. Check out the Loaf ‘N’ Ale and Waterfront River Pub & Terrace for live bands once the stores have closed.
Wagon rides will be available so you can see the lights and enjoy the wonderful holiday atmosphere. When you need a break, stop by one of the cafes.
Coffee Cravings will be open serving specialty holiday drinks and its famous coffees and teas. Artist Bill VanWart will be “hanging out” showing his art work, and every donation brought in for the MorningStar Mission nets a ballot to win either a painting by Mr. V or a coffee treat basket. This is an example of Bill’s work:
Ellena’s Cafe will have featured guests, including artist Peggy Collins, who will be offering her “I’ll draw anything Round 2.” Peggy will spend five or ten minutes making a special drawing for you for $10, and part of the proceeds will be given to charity. Here’s an example of Peggy’s drawing [from her Facebook page]:
Musicians Stephen Bruce Medd, Barry Lovegrove, and Steve Tanner will be providing entertainment while you enjoy Ellena’s delicious treats. My favourite is the chocolate haystack. I hope she’ll have some on Friday night! Stephen Medd (seen in a photo from an Open Mic night at the Loaf ‘N’ Ale) is a regular performer around town, and loves to share his songs about Napanee. Barry and Steve are also well-known and often play at Ellena’s when the local “Humstrummers” gather, and at many other events.
The entire downtown core will be buzzing with activities. At Seasons Fine Foods, Dufflet Cakes will have truffles, macarons and Euro Tarts. Fine food, indeed! Check out Chef Pat’s posts on her Facebook page to see some photos!
Many other stores, too numerous to mention here, will have specials , so be sure to allow plenty of time to visit them. You’ll also need time to visit with friends and family who also will be enjoying the party.
“It’s incredible how much this has grown,” Cat said. “I still remember the first year when we had a terrible blizzard, but people still came out. So, no matter what the weather is, we know it will be a great party, Buddy the Elf and Jovvie will be there, and we hope that everyone will remember their donations for the charities we are all supporting.”