The History and Enduring Popularity of Moonlight Madness

Moonlight Madness is more than a night of shopping, it’s a longstanding Revelstoke tradition. Many residents who grew up in Revelstoke remember it from their own childhoods. It turns out the first incarnation of Moonlight Madness was around 1980, meaning this is the thirty eighth anniversary of the event, give or take a year.

There has been a Moonlight Madness before there was a Revelstoke Mountain Resort – before there was a tourist season.

I asked local store owner Dianne Bull if she had any thoughts about the event’s longevity. “I think it’s been popular because it’s really meant for the community rather than people visiting the community,” Bull says. “Yes, there are sales and shopping happens, but it’s a really social event.”

Many couples make an evening out of it, going to dinner and then window (and sometimes actual) shopping around the downtown core. Friends and parents meet up and take advantage of the last sale before Boxing Day. The Revelstoke Community Centre offers Swim and a Movie for the kids (registration required) and Travel Escapes will be having a Santa station for the littlest family members.

The sales themselves vary from store to store; some stores have significant sales, some stores don’t.

A huge amount of the stores participate. This year twenty five stores took part, each contributing to marketing costs. They collaborate to create posters, rack cards (which are mailed out) and having a map printed in the Revelstoke Review. The camaraderie between store owners is something special in Revelstoke, with the small business community rallying behind one another.

And while Moonlight Madness may have changed over the years; the stores were open until midnight and staff wore pajamas, the goal of the event – stress free social shopping, stays the same.

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