Dec. 4—LEWISBURG — Dan MacArthur began baking cookies in his Market Street shop at 4:30 a.m. Friday in the hopes of enticing a hungry crowd arriving hours later during Lewisburg's Late Shoppers Night.
"Bakers' hours are real," said the owner of the new shop, The Cookie Dude, at 335 Market St., who put his five employees to work throughout the day baking and displaying a full array of cookies, cupcakes, brownies and scones, as well as spices and gourmet coffee.
"I don't know what to expect," he said of the turnout at the annual holiday event that had Lewisburg stores staying open from 6 to 10 p.m. The event featured special events, like live entertainment, food and refreshment giveaways and a free showing of the movie, Elf, at Campus Theatre.
Jordanna Adams clothing store owner Cydney Snyder has participated in Late Shoppers Night for three years and said the event attracts a large crowd to her 308 Market St. shop.
"This is typically one of our busiest days. It's neck and neck with Black Friday," she said as shoppers scanned the racks of women's clothing and accessories.
The mild weather likely helped draw people to the downtown, said Michelle Hart, of Williamsport, who set up a table outside Daisylace Boutique, 238 Market St., a clothing store owned by her daughter, Erin Zimmerman, and offered hot chocolate, cookies and candy canes.
It was a chance to help attract shoppers to her daughter's shop and raise awareness of the food truck business, Cookin' From the Heart, that Hart, a former nurse, opened in October 2020.
"It's a good way to interact with people and spread holiday cheer," she said.
Ben and Daria Keyser, of Winfield, along with their three young children, dressed up in festive red and white pajamas and strolled the main street before visiting with Santa Claus.
"We're trying to make exciting memories for them," he said of the couple's kids, Molly, 6, Aggie, 4, and Daria, 2.
Jim and Connie Hepner, of Sunbury, beamed as the family walked past them and their two Labradors, Drake and Mable, headed toward a pizza shop.
"It's cute," said Jim Hepner. "We just saw a couple in a tuxedo and evening gown."
At several locations along the street were volunteers with The Donald Heiter Community Center's 'Rock and Read' fundraiser, like William Hlavaty, 9, of Winfield, who read a couple chapters of The Christmas Pig at the window inside the Barnes & Noble Book Store. His mother, Melissa Hlavaty, and grandmother Kathy Deforge, listened on the sidewalk.
Held in conjunction with the Late Shoppers Night for the past 10 years, the fundraiser brings in about $10,000 for the center, said Executive Director Andrea Tufo.
"A lot happens in one night," said Tufo of the excitement of the evening.
For any last-minute holiday shoppers who didn't get a chance to visit Lewisburg Friday or who have more gift-buying to do, downtown businesses will remain open until 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 10 and Friday, Dec. 17.