What is it that we love about our Mediterranean holidays – and the Canaries too – apart from the obvious that is – the weather?

We like the fact that we can chill in the sun and shade during the day – and still go shopping as the sun sets, as the shops stay open in the evening, after we’ve had our meals in the beachside bars, our hotels and the tavernas. Somehow it just seems so “civilised” – the pressure’s off – the markets are open, the shops laid back and fully stocked, and there’s no rush to get back to a car park in case we’ve got a ticket. Why can’t we get some of that in Stone? Well we can….

Following the success of last year’s Christmas evening market, Stone Town Council has organised two late night shopping events in Stone High Street on 21st June and 19th July. This is an initiative between the Traders and the Council – yes of course it’s to bring as many shoppers into the town, at a time to suit them, but there are some very interesting developments afoot in Stone – none of which we can disclose at the time of going to press, but the closures on the High Street may well be in reverse, some in time for the 21st June. Stone has traditionally – since the 1800’s – been the “playground” of the Potteries – and given the commitment of the traders and retailers, we’ll see that happening again. This is just the start!

They say “If we build it, they will come” and that’s what this is all about. Fun for all the family, and for the shoppers who don’t need to worry about getting a parking ticket – the Crown Street, Christchurch Way and Westbridge Park car parks are of course FREE after 5.30pm.

Given the time of year, it’ll be alright and all bright on the night and here’s what you’ll find … exclusive ranges of craft, food and other local stalls, which will be open between 4pm and 8pm. Many of Stone’s unique High Street shops will also stay open late into the evening offering a wide selection of merchandise. The atmosphere of the night will be completed by music from the Florence Brass Band, who last year were amazing, if you’ve not heard them before you are in for a treat!

The Florence Brass Band will be on hand to entertain the crowds

Councillor Jill Hood, Vice-Chairman of the Council’s Tourism and Town Promotion Sub-Committee added:

“If you want a memorable evening out, don’t miss the Stone Summer Evening Shopping nights. Browse the stalls, visit the local shops, enjoy the entertainment, and finish off the evening in one of the town’s fine eateries. Bring your friends and family for a night you will all remember.”

And yes – Stone still boasts the county’s best range of eateries from burgers to fillet steaks, oatcakes to curries and pizzas. And who knows what “street food” will be available on the market. Make a date in your diaries NOW for both nights and let’s see just how Stone can compete with late nights on the Mediterranean – without the need for a flight and a hotel!