Christmas shopping spectacular Friday in Ucluelet

Ucluelet locals are gearing up to tackle their Christmas wish lists during this weekend’s Midnight Madness celebrations and one store in particular is getting dolled up for its roughly 30th appearance at the event.

The Crow’s Nest gift shop started out as a general store and was built in the early 1900’s by Edwin Lee, a fur-trader turned merchant, who ran the store with his wife Bessie, selling everything from groceries to fishing gear, until the 1930’s. The building has changed hands just four times since then with Jan Draeseke having purchased it in 1988 and turning it into The Crow’s Nest we know today.

Draeseke said Ucluelet’s Midnight Madness event was already well entrenched in the local Christmas calendar when she purchased her business and she was thrilled to become a part of the festivities.

“It’s a huge community event (and) small businesses have always been the backbone of it,” she said.

“Small businesses in the area put on excellent sales to encourage people to shop locally (and) we put it on early enough that people have time to mail their parcels all over the world if they need to.”

Draeseke is a member of Ucluelet’s Merchant Committee, which organizes the Midnight Madness sales extravaganza, and the longtime member of the local business community said shopping locally is a vital attribute of a thriving