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After-Hours Shopping in Annapolis

Three nights to make gift-buying fun

Shopping is more fun at stores that want your business. To lure you in, New York City stores fill their windows with scenes as highly produced as a Broadway show. Annapolis throws three after-hours parties. The festivities are good enough to win the city Travel & Leisure magazine’s vote as one of America’s Best Towns for the Holidays.
    The parties start Thursday, Dec. 4, with Midnight Madness I; continue Thursday, Dec. 11, with Midnight Madness II and all new entertainment; and culminate Thursday, Dec. 18, with Eleventh Hour.
    Here’s what to expect:
    Walk streets aglow with holiday decorations: Main Street, West Street, State Circle, Maryland Avenue and Snowflake Alley, the festive shortcut from Main Street to the shops on State Circle and Maryland Avenue. Sponsors are Sheehy Lexus of Annapolis and other businesses and community partners.
    Shop until midnight in party-ready stores decked for the holidays. Most serve refreshments, including wine; many offer entertainment and special deals. For example, at Midnight Madness I, Eyes on Main serves a spread catered by Acme Bar and Grill and offers 20 percent discounts on frames plus free optical care packages and customization.
    Hear music galore. The Old Mill High School Steel Drum Band plays for the 16th year, joined by St. Anne’s School Children’s Chorus, Chasing Verity, Sons of the Severn Chorus, Cousin Eddie and the Salvation Army Band. WNAV and WRNR are also on hand.
    Enter as often as you shop to win the WRNR Rockin’ Stocking, a Holiday Grand Prize stuffed with $2,500 worth of gift cards from local merchants. (Enter through Dec.18 at participating stores.)
    Park free at metered spaces for two hours, courtesy of the city of Annapolis. Lexus drivers get valet parking (adjacent to the Christmas tree at the foot of Main Street), thanks to Sheehy Lexus.
    Ride the Circulator free. Hop the Circulator Trolley near each city parking garage and throughout downtown; also courtesy of the city of Annapolis.