Moonlight Madness brings out shoppers

Marlo Guetersloh
Addison Weybright, dressed as the Star Wars robot R2-D2, picks out candy with the help of her dad, Tom Weybright, during a stop Thursday at Sentimental Journey on the Washington Square. The specialty shops on the Washington Square hosted its annual Moonlight Madness celebration.

Krista Piper’s shop Blue is ready for holiday shoppers. 

Piper was one of many specialty shop owners on the Washington Square who kicked off holiday shopping season Thursday with the shop’s annual Moonlight Maddness sales. 

The Halloween-themed promotion got shoppers and trick-or-treaters out to the stores, but Christmas is on store owner’s minds. 

“We are ready for Christmas — we are fully loaded and we’ve got more merchandise coming in,” Piper said. “We’ve already had Christmas shoppers in the store. We’re hopeful this will be a good year.” 

Specialty shops were open into the evening Thursday and welcomed trick-or-treaters. 

“We are seeing a lot of people out this evening and that’s a good sign,” said Kris Hastens, owner of Sentimental Journey. 

Hastens said the Moonlight Madness promotion is an early event on the specialty shop’s scheduled design to get people thinking about shopping local for the up-coming holidays. 

“We hope people will continue to come see what we have to offer and keep supporting these unique, local stores,” Hastens said. 

The Washington Specialty Shops will be hosting its annual Holiday Open House on Saturday and Sunday. 

Hasten said many of the stores will be offering specials or serving refreshments. 

The holiday open house also marks the start of Sunday shopping hours on the Washington Square. Many of the shops will be open from noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays through Christmas. 

The Washington Square businesses will also be placing the special Santa’s mailbox outside of Denhart Baking Co. Any letters with a return address that is dropped off by Dec. 15 get a reply by Christmas. 

Lori Peifer from Lori’s Kitchen Store said she is excited about the holiday shopping season. 

“It’s different now because we have no idea what to expect,” Peifer said. “I use to be that person who kept spreadsheets and I could tell you what worked last year. But that all went to the side because of the tornado.

“I just hope it’s a wonderful holiday season,” Peifer said.