ELIZABETHTOWN — Shoppers are calling this year’s July 4 Sidewalk Sale an explosion of bargains.
Held biannually — once in July and again during the Labor Day holiday, Elizabethtown’s downtown sidewalk sales are a major contributor to the local economy.
“This is our biggest time of the year — it’s like Christmas to us,” said Melvin’s owner Randy Harris, as he was scurrying around Friday and pulling supplies out of storage. The line in his restaurant went from the front counter to the back door, where it made a u-turn and extended back to the front of the restaurant.
Though the days of participation varied from merchant to merchant, in general, the sale was held from Friday, June 30-Tuesday, July 4.
Even the heat wasn’t enough to deter most people from coming out for the sale.
“Yes, it’s hot,” said Jeremy Lankton, who drove up from South Carolina just to go to the sale with friends who were staying at White Lake for the week.
He added, taking off his hat to wipe sweat from his brow, “It’s hot enough to roast a lizard, but what’s a sunburn if it means I can score a pair of shoes on sale?”
He ended up buying a pair of Rainbow flip-flops for his fiancée, who, in turn, gifted him with a Southern Tide T-shirt.
Lankton and other bargain-hunters endured the 85-degree heat Friday for what turned out to be one of the coolest days for the sale — it also had some rain late in the day. On Saturday, things remained steady, at 85 degrees again for the high, but temperatures began warming up Saturday.The high for the day was 89 degrees, followed by 94 and 92 on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
To mitigate the heat, shoppers turned to a couple of local treats.
“Ice cream always sells good,” said Jane Priest, co-owner of Main Street Treasures, which, in addition to antiques, offers Hershey’s ice cream.
Brent and Dana Green chose to head to Elizabethtown’s newest shop — the Dragonfly Coffee House — for chilled versions of a caffeine boost.
“This is perfect,” said Dana, as she sipped a frappé with a shot of Irish Cream. “Just the right amount to get me going again.”
“We had a good turnout,” said Morgan McCollum, of Toddlers and Teens. “Year-round school was about to start back in two weeks, so we book bags and lunch boxes were hot items this year. Overall, it was a good day.”
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing email@example.com.