By Aaron Ricca/THE BEE
KINGMAN – Downtown could be crawling with cookie monsters every Christmas season if an idea by Kingman Main Street, the group that organizes First Fridays, has its way.
About 30 downtown businesses plan to lure people to the historic district with the inaugural Kingman Cookie Crawl on Saturday, Dec. 15 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. MST. Restaurants, drinking establishments, clothing shops, antique stores, salons and others will pass out cookies and decorate their storefronts (some already have) with colorful holiday images. Throw in some holiday music at each stop and downtown has itself a festivity.
“There are still plenty of tickets available and we’re only selling 250, so once they’re gone, they’re gone,” said Jasmine Marin, KMS volunteer and Cookie Crawl committee member.
Interested parties can purchase a $15 ticket and passport at Black Bridge Brewery from now up until the event. At this time, the tickets can only be purchased using cash.
At 3:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon, pre-sale ticketholders exchange the tickets for passports (or new buyers get their passports the night of) at the brewery. Passport holders then hop from business-to-business to have them signed or stamped at each location.
The Cookie Crawl offers people a chance to grab some dinner, mingle with friends and even to get some Christmas shopping done.
The Very Merry Parade of Lights (as well as First Friday events) boosted business for Vegabonds Trinkets & Treasures on the corner of Fourth and Beale streets.
“A lot of people come down here and look around,” said owner Eileen Ludington. “They might not buy something right away, but they’ll come back later in the week.”
She added that the parades and street festivals are a good way to get noticed. Maybe adding more food to the equation will up the ante.
So far there’s no telling what kind of cookies to expect. They could be baked fresh or store bought.
“I have no idea until the cookies come in the door,” said Ann Lacy, volunteer coordinator for Kingman Center for the Arts. “I’ve only requested homemade cookies.
Each participating business is responsible for providing their own cookies and KMS has requested they be prepared to receive 250 families.
The rule is only one cookie per passport, but Marin said with all the businesses participating, it’s likely that a family might choose to share one passport.
Cookie collection is the first part of the crawl and there’s more fun in store.
Return completed passports to Black Bridge Brewery after the crawl along with a vote for the best cookies and best decorated storefront while enjoying 15 percent off beer at the after-party at Black Bridge Brewery. Completed passports will be entered into prize drawings.
There will also be a $400 cash prize for the voted best decorated business. All proceeds from the ticket sales go toward fundraising efforts for the improvement of the historic downtown district.
Marin said the drawings and winning business announcements should happen around 8 p.m., so there’ll be plenty of time to carry on into the night.
Chillin’ on Beale will also be hosting their holiday car show and toy drive on Beale Street that night. Cars will be decked out in holiday decorations.
The Very Merry Parade of Lights, organized by the Kingman Downtown Merchants Association, was a hit almost regardless of who you ask, be them spectators, businesses or organizers.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of people bundled for the chilly weather packed downtown streets to see more than 60 entries that included floats, semi-trucks, off-road vehicles, marching bands, dancers, gymnasts and even a school bus.
“We overstaffed that night,” said Nicole Hillman, bar manager at Rickety Cricket. “People had even called and made reservations. It was a crazy night.”
Just about every restaurant and drinking establishment was packed during the parade, but so were other non-eateries.
Southwest Trading Company, a clothing and art boutique, stayed open after regular hours for the parade with doors wide open with coats and gloves outside for sale.
“The cool thing about parades is people who don’t normally come downtown, came downtown,” said owner Sarah Ferry, who has helped organize the First Friday events that also attract newcomers. “It’s awesome because they realize what’s down here.”
Visit www.kingmanmainstreet.com or the Kingman Main Street Facebook page and http://kingmandowntownmerchantsassociation.com or the Kingman Downtown Merchants Facebook page for more information and events.