(Gillette, Wyo.) It’s a fact that workers here in Gillette, especially those in the energy industry, get off work late. As such, they miss out on some amazing entertainment that their hometown offers, such as unique shopping opportunities only found in downtown Gillette.
Thankfully Tara Stoneking, owner of Magpie Designs downtown, has come to the rescue. This month, Stoneking has headed an effort for Gillette residents to come down and enjoy their downtown during the “Hot Summer Nights” event.
“It’s just a chance for people to come downtown and enjoy our Main Street after hours,” Stoneking explained. “Get off work, come down, eat, shop with us, most of us are open later tonight for people to come in.”
In addition to the altered hours that shops are open, there will also be a couple live acoustic music performances going on downtown in front of Rapscallions and Pat’s Hallmark.
The “Hot Summer Nights” idea first became a plan when Stoneking noticed that those who get off work late don’t get to enjoy Main Street or any of its attractions very often. She’s out to change that.
“I always see so many cars down here enjoying Ice Cream Café in the evenings,” said Stoneking. “It’d be nice if we were also open so they can enjoy us as well.”
Stoneking partnered with Laura Chapman, owner of Alla Lala Cupcakes and Sweet Things, who helped get the Hot Summer Nights event going. In preparation for tonight, Chapman has seriously stepped up her cupcake production.
“We typically bake about 15 to 20 dozen [cupcakes] for our counter every day,” she said. “We’re probably going to bake another 10 to 12 dozen to be open later.”
Chapmen and her store will be holding what she calls a “sugar rush,” where all baked goods will be on sale for 25 percent off.
“This is the first time we’ve tried something like this. It’s kind of a learning curve,” Chapman explained.
Because the businesses operated on Main Street are usually operated by one or two people, it would be difficult to extend the hours on a more regular basis, Stoneking says.
“But doing it one or two special nights, just makes it that much more special,” she said.
Depending on how it goes tonight, Stoneking hopes to make this more of a yearly, or seasonal event.
“A Christmas one, where we’re all open for Christmas open houses or spring open houses or something like that,” Stoneking said. “I think it’s just a great time to get people to come downtown and shop with us.”
Hot Summer nights will be going on tonight, August 10, and next week on August 17 for their after-hours event. With the live music and incredible shopping opportunities, Hot Summer Nights is sure to be filled to the brim with fun filled excitement for the whole family. Be sure to check it out!