Noel Night

Now that holiday shopping season has officially begun, to the tune of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, Durangoans can shift their attention to a more local seasonal tradition. Noel Night – which, despite its name, will begin at 10 a.m. today – offers a fun-filled day of music, deals and celebrations at local merchants who aim to get shoppers in the locally oriented holiday spirit.

The program is designed to add a festive note to what for many is a necessary evil of the holiday season: shopping for gifts. Dozens of downtown businesses are participating to various degrees, offering discounts, drawings, special food and beverages for the evening, as well as music at many venues – both usual suspects and unlikely locations. The net result is an evening of bustling activity that helps take the edge off fulfilling holiday gift obligations all while steering shoppers to local businesses. That is a positive convergence for retailers and purchasers alike.

Beginning at 4 p.m., various merchants will host a range of favorite local entertainers. Caitlin Cannon and the Artillery will play from 4-7 p.m. at the Rochester Hotel, Durango Dance students will perform from 5-7 p.m. at the studio at 1120 Main Ave, and Six Dollar String Band will provide the soundtrack from 5-8 at Studio &. Mattie Stubbe will play piano from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Artesanos Design Collection, Group Shower will spice up the shopping from 6-9 p.m. at Animas Trading Co., Gussied Up will feature a holiday fashion show from 6:30-7:30 p.m., and Karyn Gabaldon Fine Arts will feature Giants Dance at 7:30 p.m. The Durango Barbershoppers will intersperse among shoppers throughout downtown merchants, serenading as they go. These are just a few of the acts on display this evening; there is much more to see, hear and enjoy.

The notion of a locally focused holiday shopping event is welcome for merchants vying for customer attention in the age of online sales. While Noel Night is unlikely to bring all wayward shoppers back from the World Wide Web, it does serve as a fun reminder that downtown Durango is home to a robust universe of local retailers with a wide range of merchandise to fill stockings and satisfy secret Santa requirements. It also does so at a time when leaving the house for an evening on the town may not be otherwise all that appealing, given low temperatures that typically accompany early December nights. Noel Night makes it worth the bundling up required. The atmosphere of festivity – bordering on revelry – is a lovely seasonal tradition, regardless of the shopping involved, and the downtown merchants offer their customers big incentives, too. It is a good time that all should enjoy.

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