Downtown Milford's annual Holiday Stroll kicked the weekend into gear last Friday night with lots of people taking advantage of the special hours set aside just for holiday shopping.
At 5:45 p.m., the night was just getting started but Eco Chic owner Teri Carter said that she was expecting a great turn out, just like last year.
"Come back in an hour or so and it will be jam packed in here," Carter said. "It's been a good season all together this year, though. Small Business Saturday was a great success."
Carter was right, too. An hour later, her boutique was bustling with shoppers. She wasn't alone either. The shops, galleries and restaurants located all over the downtown shopping district between S.E. and S.W. Front Streets and N.W. Front St. were busy all night, with several seeing long lines and wall-to-wall shoppers.
The longest line of all, though, could be seen at the little red cottage known to all as "Santa's House."
The weather, though mild, turned to rain mid-way through the evening, driving people inside rather than away. People could be seen scurrying about, frantically pulling out umbrellas and donning rain-resistant hats but no one appeared to be leaving.
And, while the rain seemed to propel some to get serious about their shopping lists, others took the opportunity to peruse the artwork at the Mispillion Art Gallery and take in the entertainment at the Milford Public Library, where carolers and the Milford Community Band regaled residents and visitors with a few Christmas classics.
Julie Greenly of Lincoln, who dresses up with four other friends in Victorian fashions, said that she and her friends look forward to this every year.
"We always come and we always dress up," Greenly said. "It's a tradition."