NOTE: There have been some changes made to the Midnight Madness events in Annapolis at the direction of the City of Annapolis and the Anne Arundel County Health Department. See below!
Downtown Annapolis and the holidays have a deep and nearly timeless relationship. It is where we have traditionally congregated to celebrate, take our families out to eat, and to shop. This year will be no different as the Downtown Annapolis Partnership hosts Annapolis’ favorite shopping nights for locals, Midnight Madness. This year Midnight Madness will be held on December 3rd and 10th until midnight and on December 17th until the Eleventh Hour (11 pm).
Downtown Annapolis, including West Street, Maryland Avenue, Main Street, and the City Dock area will be filled with traditional holiday decorations including beautiful storefront windows, garland, wreaths, holiday lights, a snowflake alley, light canopies, a large Christmas tree, and a menorah. “You will love strolling outdoors, shopping, and dining in the historic district of Annapolis this holiday season,” said Erik Evans, the Executive Director of the Downtown Annapolis Partnership. Annapolis has been named as one of the best Christmas towns to visit for the holidays by Country Living and one of the most festive Christmas cities in the USA by 24/7 Wall Street. This is in strong part due to events like the Light Parade and Midnight Madness.
But what about COVID?
Critical to the success of this year’s holiday events is keeping everyone safe. So, in addition to the standard COVID safety protocols of requiring a mask while shopping, limiting the number of people in a store, encouraging frequent hand washing, and telling people if they are sick to stay home, other safety protocols will be added to the list.
Both Main Street and Maryland Avenue will be completely closed to cars during Midnight Madness nights to allow more space for pedestrians to socially distance, this space will also be used for tents for outdoor dining, some outdoor retail space, as a place to queue customers waiting to get inside a store, and to move some small-scale entertainment away from the sidewalks. (NOTE: The Health Department was concerned that closed streets would also sere as gathering spaces for small groups) The event shopping hours will also start 2 hours earlier this year at 4 pm. This provides another opportunity for people to spread out arrival times and reduce crowding. By shopping either the first 2 hours or the final 2 hours of Midnight Madness, shoppers can avoid the typical primetime hours. The city has extended the hours restaurants can operate outdoors and in heated tents to give hungry shoppers more time to support local businesses. For those unable to enjoy these shopping events in person the Downtown Annapolis Partnership has made it easy to shop your favorite downtown Annapolis businesses online at www.midnightmadnessannapolis.com
In addition to the late-night shopping on Thursdays during Midnight Madness, many of the stores in downtown Annapolis will be adding later shopping hours (until 9 pm) in December, especially on Friday and Saturday evenings. Be on the lookout for the new “Open Late for Safe Shopping” flags that merchants can put up on evenings they are open late.
Shoppers are encouraged to shop locally and support our small businesses and also to inquire about curbside pickup of purchased merchandise. Additionally, gift certificates and cards are available from most stores and they can be sent directly to your home.
Additional outdoor holiday events scheduled include Small Business Saturday in downtown Annapolis on November 28th, Artist Sunday throughout Annapolis on November 29th, the First Sunday Arts Holiday Market on West Street on December 6th,
and the Eastport Yacht Club Light Parade along Spa Creek on December 12th. (Canceled on November 17th)
Free garage parking for the holidays will be more plentiful than ever in downtown Annapolis with four parking garages offering long term free holiday parking.
Free parking garage options include:
- Knighton Parking Garage: Free parking 4 pm to midnight during Midnight Madness on Dec 3rd,10th, and 17th
- Gotts Court Parking Garage: Free parking Wednesday to Sunday 4 pm to midnight now through the holidays.
- Calvert Street Parking Garage: Free parking weekdays from 6 pm to 6 am and all-day Saturday and Sunday year-round.
- Hillman Parking Garage: Free parking Thursday and Friday 4 pm to midnight, Saturday noon to midnight, and Sunday 10 am to midnight now through the holidays.
For short term parking, the parking meters will be free for the first two hours for everyone. A bonus free hour at the meters is available by using the code ParkDTA on the Parkmobile App.
For additional information on Midnight Madness and other downtown Annapolis holiday events visit the Downtown Annapolis Partnership’s website at www.DowntownAnnapolisPartnership.org