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Dec 15, 2017







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S’more shopping
Bring on the beards and bonfires

11/23/17
By Ryan Lessard news@hippopress.com



 This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Midnight Merriment event in Concord, which takes place on Friday, Dec. 1, from 5 p.m. to midnight. 

“It’s going to be very merry, very festive, as usual,” said Kate Fleming with Intown Concord.
It’s the second year the event has been set in a vastly redesigned downtown area, which was made more pedestrian-friendly with wider brick sidewalks and more street lamps. The redevelopment will give shoppers an easier walking experience and entertainers will have more spaces to perform.
Many of the same features that were available last year will return, and some popular attractions have been expanded upon.
“We did a lot of new stuff last year,” Fleming said.
There will be an Elfie Selfie station with a cutout of Buddy the Elf, wandering carolers, piped music for added ambience, holiday lights decorating the promenades and, of course, Santa Claus.
Santa will be stationed at New Hampshire Federal Credit Union on Main Street, where he’ll take pictures with kids.
Midnight Merriment is primarily a shopping event, where small shops that line the downtown strip stay open until midnight and offer complimentary treats like cheese and wine, as well as special promotions. 
There will also be regular pop-up raffles throughout the evening for people to win Downtown Dollars, which can be redeemed at most downtown businesses.  
An arts market area called Giftopolis will be set up in the atrium in Eagle Square, where local artists and artisans will sell their creations.
Returning this year is the beard competition, which is sponsored and organized by Granite State Candy Shoppe in Concord. 
“That’s hugely popular every year and it just seems to get even bigger,” Fleming said.
Forms to sign up are available at the store but people can also enter the competition on the spot. Last year, the competition was a big hit.
“There were some seriously impressive beards,” Fleming said. “One of the guys had like twinkle lights in his beard and beads strung up.”
The S’more Stations, a new feature from last year, was so popular that Fleming said they’ll be sure to come better prepared this year.
“We had like 300 packages of s’mores that were donated by Granite State Candy … and it was gone in like 45 minutes,” Fleming said.
While they’ll still have two fires for the free s’mores, Fleming said they’re working with Granite State Candy to make sure they have even more supplies so they last longer.
Before Midnight Merriment, Intown Concord is also organizing a few other holiday shopping events in the city. 
On Friday, Nov. 24, there will be Concord’s answer to Black Friday: “Plaid Friday,” where you dress in plaid to show your solidarity as local businesses offer special discounts. More discounts will be offered Saturday, Nov. 25, during Shop Small Saturday. And, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day, Intown Concord is partnering with TD Bank to take donations to benefit Families in Transition in a program called Stuff a Truck. The truck will be parked in City Plaza in front of the Statehouse. They’ll be taking household items like brand new bedding, pots and pans, dishware and clothes. 





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