"Come on kids, I'm on a mission," barked one mother inside Adventure Toys, only half-joking, last Friday, a "First" Friday.
It was creeping towards 7:30 p.m. and she had a booklet full of empty spaces, waiting for at least eight little heart-shaped stickers to prove she'd been inside the merchant's store. She had 30 more minutes and kids in tow.
"There's no extra credit," she noted mirthfully, so she was preparing to blitz exactly seven more of the 25 participating stores qualify for a drawing for a massage and other tempting offers donated by merchants.
For those making a more leisurely night of it, there were truffles (gone fast), special raspberry chocolate licorice (at Peet's), strawberry trifles at Alabasta on State Street, and much more. All organized by Los Altos Forward, a community organization trying to breathe vitality downtown at night.
"People are very focused," said Chris Kendall, owner of the Yum Yum Tree women's clothing boutique. On getting their stickers, that is. "But someone did stop and try something on."
A quick peek at restaurants around town showed many were enjoying some business, particularly Lulu's, a new Mexican restaurant on Main Street.
And the prizes? Los Altos Forward has notified the lucky winners. We'll let you know if we find out.
The next First Friday will be in April.