There are seven Fridays left until Christmas.
So why wait until Thanksgiving to start shopping? And why wait for … well, anything to start celebrating?
Devine Night Out – a kickoff for the holidays that combines sales, food, drink and fun for adults just before the craziness of Christmas arrives – begins at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9.
“There will be lots of stores open and lots of people doing fun things,” said Jennifer Suber, marketing coordinator for Devine Street Association.
This is the third year the event has been held in November rather than December. The association made the move to help Devine Night Out stand alone in a time with fewer conflicting holiday events.
It is an adult event. In fact, the Devine Night Out slogan is “Grab a friend, book the sitter.”
Many stores will do the same sort of things they do every year. But there will be some new things as well, Suber said. The blend of old and new is part of what makes Devine Night Out special, she says.
One of the “new” things is the closing of a small portion of Devine Street, near Henry’s Restaurant & Bar, site of the event’s after-party. That will allow safe crossing for pedestrians and a stage for live music.
A free trolley will take shoppers up and down the mile-long stretch of stores participating in Devine Night Out, and Pedal Parlor will offer an alternative method of transportation.
Many non-retail businesses will be hosting parties for clients, but don’t be shy about crashing those.
“If you walk by and you see a party, go on in,” Suber says.
There is no admission fee or check-in required. But the Devine Street Association would like to know you’re there.
“We love that it’s free, and we love that it’s not gated,” Suber said. But the Devine merchants also want to be good Columbia citizens, and want to help the city recognize what appeals to local residents. So if you see someone with a clipboard, give them your zip code; then wear your Devine Night Out sticker so Columbia leaders can gauge interest in such events.
The event is from 5-8 p.m. But when the stores close their doors, the free after-party begins at Henry’s Restaurant and Bar, with live music, food and drinks.
Most of the businesses at Devine Night Out are offering sales and specials during the event, and many will have refreshments or entertainment. Here is a sample of what some of the stores are doing. Go to www.devinestreetcolumbiasc.com for a complete list.
Mainstream Boutique, 3217 Devine St. What’s more fun than shopping with a glass of wine? Having someone else wrap the gifts. (It’s free!) Done and done.
Best Mattress, 2930 Devine St. Music by Don Russo, food from the Gourmet Shop and DiPrato’s and 25 percent off manufacturer’s suggested retail price on mattresses.
Crescent Olive, 2901 Devine St. Sample delicious olive oils and vinegars, catering by the Spotted Salamander and jam and cocktails by Sallie’s Greatest. Painter Cal Harrelson will sign paintings. Two different holiday six-packs of olive oil are on sale for $25 each (regular price $30).
Just the Thing, 2732 Devine St. Patricia Moore-Pastides, first lady of the University of South Carolina, will sign her new coffee table book, “At Home in the Heart of the Horseshoe.”
Home Advantage Realty, 2615 Devine St. Drop in, have a drink, and enjoy an oyster roast.
Unforgettable Fine Jewelry, 2511 Devine St. Enjoy treats from Silver Spoon Bake Shop.
Il Giorgione, 2406 Devine St. Receive a free glass of house wine with the purchase of a pizza, pasta, or entree special.
Tallulah, 2400 Devine St. Half-price snacks before 6:30 p.m. and $2 off wine by the glass, local beers and special cocktails. Try a happy hour Bulleit Bourbon hot toddy for $2. On your way out, grab a free bag of popcorn. Valet is complimentary if you stay for a drink or dinner.
Wayne Powers Apothecary & Salon, 2321 Devine St. Enjoy a vodka-spiced cranberry drink and food, and listen to “Hair, Hymns + Liquor.”
If you go
Devine Night Out
WHEN: 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9.
WHERE: Along Devine Street, from Mainstream Boutique (3217 Devine St.) to Wayne Powers Apothecary & Salon (2321 Devine St.).
WORTH NOTING: Stick around for an after-party at Henry’s Restaurant and Bar, 2865 Devine St.