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It all started with Sangria and Midnight Madness

Brenda Barrington

Posted on July 09 2016

It all started with Sangria and Midnight Madness

Barrington’s has been celebrating Midnight Madness here in downtown Oakville ever since it first began in 1977. This magical event has drawn huge crowds from the very beginning, and next year will be the 40th anniversary.

My first Midnight Madness came in 1980. I was amazed by this crazy event, especially when I saw that all the merchants were wearing their pajamas!

Paul’s dad, Robert Barrington, had a big pitcher of Sangria (click here for the recipe) on hand for the customers and visitors to the store that night. Sangria, what an exotic concoction for Oakville back then! You knew you were experiencing something special.

Of course, I didn’t know Paul back then. His sister had invited some of her friends, including me, to this “groovy” street party in our hometown. Paul was far too busy that night chatting with his Oakville friends to notice me. I spent most of the night chatting, and drinking Sangria, with his father Robert.

The magic took a little longer for Paul and I after that first meeting, as we only started dating about three years later. That night is always one of our favorites of the year. We’ve celebrated Midnight Madness together ever since.

Miraculously, Midnight Madness in downtown Oakville has been blessed with great weather almost every year. Now it has grown to be one of the biggest street festivals in Ontario, drawing crowds of 50,000 to our charming town. Look at the crowds (and the clear evening sky) from last year.


We love the tradition of Midnight Madness. You feel fantastic energy saying hello to old friends and meeting new ones.

Come celebrate another great Midnight Madness this year and help us celebrate the 65th anniversary of Barrington’s, the oldest store in Downtown Oakville. Paul and I will be celebrating the night that started it all -- the night we met.

Who knows? Maybe we’ll whip up a punch bowl of Robert’s Midnight Madness Sangria for this year’s special night. But I can guarantee that we’ll be enjoying some stain resistant chilled white wine.

See you on July 15th, 2016, 10am to Midnight!




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