Noel Night, the Black Friday of Durango, is a celebrated tradition for small businesses and local shoppers, and business owners and staff were happy with turnout early Friday evening even though the night was young.
As the sun set and Durango’s skies turned dark, the sidewalks along Main Avenue became more crowded as people set off on the search for sales, deals and steals.
Fiona Rodebaugh, who was working the register at Durango Treasures, a toy store at 900 Main Ave., said Noel Night is a time for locals to come together and celebrate “our beautiful town.”
Locals and tourists visited Durango Treasures in full force, she said.
“A lot of the kiddos are super excited to see all of their toys and all of their gifts come to life here,” she said.
She said the city’s Polar Express is an attractive activity for those who can afford it. But Durango Treasures offers a Polar Express RC train for children who don’t have the opportunity to ride the real thing.
Similar remote controlled John Deere tractors and tiny versions of the Jacobite steam train as seen in the Harry Potter films are also available, she said.
“Kids who see themselves as chefs, see themselves as conductors, we have those outfits here. So they definitely see themselves, their career, come to life here. It’s really awesome,” Rodebaugh said.
Ginny Hofferber of Durango was at Durango Treasures to gift shop for her nephew, she said. She visited Urban Market, Maria’s Bookshop and There’s No Place Like Home at 822 Main Ave. earlier in the evening to shop for her husband and her mom.
Another shopper in downtown Durango, who declined to share her name, said she was searching for gifts for her grandparents and nieces, one niece just 1 year old and another who is old enough to enjoy adult party games.
The woman also visited Maria’s Bookshop and planned to visit Pine Needle Mountaineering and Backcountry Experience to find hats to use as stocking stuffers.
Brook Henderson, operations and partners manager with Visit Durango, was at the Durango Welcome Center on Friday where the tourist office accommodated Mountain Studies Institute and several other booths.
Live music at the event was led by Sandy Keifer, who works with Durango High School and teaches private string instrument lessons. A high school choir was scheduled to perform later in the evening. Mountain Studies Institute hosted hot cocoa and offered information about their school.
“I think our community is great and I think we provide an amazing service,” Henderson said. “We just love partnering and having all these people in here. We’re very thankful to be here.”
Madison and Matt Hert, owners of WhiskIt Baking, said the business is almost one year old. They cater to weddings, birthday parties and other events, and they offer dairy- and gluten-free products. Madison said she specializes in French macaroons and learned how to make them in a culinary class in Paris.
Stacey Hamer, owner of Durango Antique Market, said Noel Night was “off to a great start.”
Shoppers were hitting up the antique store to shop for Christmas gifts and decorations as well as to buy a little something for themselves. Jewelry, purses and Native American rugs appeared to be popular with shoppers, she said.
“We really appreciate Noel Night and we really appreciate all of our customers, locals and tourists,” she said.