Extended hours and a wine event have brought shoppers to the downtown businesses on Friday evenings this month.
Todd Laidlaw of True Grain Bread said customers have been at downtown businesses during the extended hours.
On Friday, Dec. 6 — one of the coldest evenings of the year — the downtown area was bustling during the Wine Walk and Shop event.
Wineries from Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive group had wine tastings at several downtown merchants.
Laidlaw said the event, from 5 to 7 p.m., started slowly but quickly picked up as the evening progressed.
“It was a very good success with the wine walk,” he said. “We were very busy.”
Throughout the evening, he said customers complained of the difficulty in finding a place to park downtown.
This past weekend, Laidlaw said traffic at the downtown stores was lighter.
He said this is because the merchants did not have a special event in addition to the longer hours.
“I was a big believer from the beginning that it wasn’t enough just to open our doors in the evening.
This year is the second year downtown merchants have offered extended Friday evening shopping in December.
Laidlaw, one of the organizers of the extended hours, said the participating merchants are looking for other ways to promote themselves in the future.
The merchants are also considering bringing back the extended hours next year.