The Moree CBD was abuzz with festive cheer on Thursday evening as Christmas shoppers took advantage of late night shopping.
Balo and Heber streets were a hive of activity as people browsed the shops and enjoyed a bite to eat at one of the local cafes, while being swept up in the festive spirit by the wonderful live entertainment on offer throughout the evening.
Moree Community Choir and Moree Ukulele Group drew a large crowd in front of Assef’s, while Moree and District Band had people dancing along on the Harvey Norman corner.
The sounds of the Moree Caledonian Society Pipes and Drums echoed through the streets from Moree Town Hall, while the Mitchell family buskers delighted shoppers with traditional carols.
Meanwhile, the melodic voices of Jac Drenkhahn and Gabby Clift provided the perfect backdrop to a relaxed evening of shopping.
Led by Moree and District Chamber of Commerce, businesses within the CBD were encouraged to extend their trading hours until 8.30pm on Thursday, November 29 to promote shopping locally this festive season.
Retailers were not only open for longer, but also treated customers to nibbles and wine, which added to the festive atmosphere.
Moree and District Chamber of Commerce member Dibs Cush, owner of Robin’s Nest Moree, said the night was a success, with plenty of people kick-starting their Christmas shopping.
“We saw a lot of people that I know work full-time and it’s really hard for them to get down in normal hours, so this was a great opportunity for them,” she said.
“We had people in until 8.30.
“It was really successful and well-worth our time doing it.”
With our local businesses feeling the pinch of the drought, this year there’s an even bigger push to encourage people to shop local and support small business.
Ms Cush said it was really positive to see so many people out doing just that.
“I just think, how wonderful it is that people can support local and shop local, it’s just so important,” she said.
“It’s great that people are shopping locally and supporting our small retailers.”
Thursday night’s event was the first of two special shopping events planned to boost local shopping this Christmas, with the second to be an open weekend on December 8 and 9.
Retailers and cafes will be open from 9am to 4pm on Saturday, December 8 and from 10am to 1pm on Sunday, December 9.
Shoppers and families are encouraged to take advantage of the extended trading hours, while enjoying roving live entertainment, buskers, free face-painting, a photo booth and a visit from Santa.
“If you work full-time this is the perfect opportunity to come down and tick a few more items off your list,” Ms Cush said.
“We’re open for longer hours than normal, so we want people to stay in Moree and do their shopping locally.”