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Midnight Madness Sweeps the Streets

Dressed in pajamas, shoppers hunt for deals in Frankfort throughout the night.

For the uninitiated, Midnight Madness can be a little, well, mad.

Shoppers wander the streets in their pajamas, hoping to get an extra discount or mystery gift from participating merchants. Normally sedate stores offer Christmas spirit in liquid form, from frozen margaritas to wine to hot toddies. People appear to loiter aimlessly while nervously checking their watches, waiting for the next incremental percentage off sale to hit at the top of the hour. 

Sponsored by the Frankfort Chamber of Commerce, Midnight Madness is a village tradition. With retail sales on the rise for the fifth consecutive month in November, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Frankfort merchants are hoping to cash in on that upward trend.

"It doesn't matter what the weather is or what's going on in the economy. We're always busy during Midnight Madness," said Sue Lotysz, owner of .

Lotysz has participated in the event since it started in 1997. For her, the night brings in many customers who know that local scene prints by her artist-husband Steve Lotysz will be on sale for 50 percent off. Not only do customers get a deal, but they get to meet the artist, who will be autographing his PGA golf course posters and prints, as well. Many gallery artists will be out and about in the  , too.

Relative newbies Jack and Carol Wilger, owners of the , said they've had a strong holiday season so far and are excited to see what Friday brings.

"We are fully stocked with special holiday merchandise," Carol said.

Last December, the Wilgers had only been in business six months and were unprepared for energetic shoppers in nightgowns looking for better deals as midnight approached.

"This year, we even have mystery gifts, special discounts the more you spend and refreshments," Carol said. "Our hot, hot, hot seller already is Christmas potpourri made weekly by an artisan in Galena."

Patty McWilliams at is new to the downtown business district, but she's ready for business. Having lived in the area for years, she knew about Midnight Madness. Monkey Mind will have numerous local artists selling their work Friday night.

In addition, McWilliams is offering art supply gift packages with or without gift certificates. She also is carrying over the deals and demos into Saturday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., with a balloon artist in studio for kids.

Midnight Madness

When: 6 p.m.-midnight Friday
Where: Participating stores in Frankort
More info: Go to the chamber website

Participating Shops 

  • , 10850 Laraway Road, Suite 1W
  • , 26 Ash St.
  • , 20523 S. LaGrange Road
  • , 25 S. White St.
  • , 21 S. Ash St., Suite 1
  • , 115 Kansas St.
  • , 11 S. White St.
  • , 590 Bankview Dr.
  • , 59 W. Bankview Dr.
  • , 10850 Laraway Road
  • , 119 Kansas St.
  • , 20529 S. LaGrange Road
  • , 22 S. White St.
  • Imagine That ... Design Inc., 27 Ash St.
  • , 20 Kansas St.
  • John C. Tylk Fine Art/Illustration, 11 S. White St.
  • , 11 S. White St.
  • , 11 S. White St.
  • , 22 Ash St.
  • , 635 N. LaGrange Road
  • , 3 W. Nebraska St.
  • , 1 N. White St.
  • , 113 Kansas St.
  • , 105 Ash St.
  • Polka Dots and Pony Tails, 20871 S. LaGrange Road
  • , 9645 W. Lincoln-Way Lane, Unit 110
  • , 11 S. White St.
  • , 11 S. White St.
  • Yarns To Dye For & More, 19 S. Ash St. 

Need ideas for gifts you can buy during Midnight Madness? Check out our . 

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