ESCANABA - Escanaba shoppers will soon have a chance to snag some deals while catching some sun when the annual sidewalk sales return to downtown this weekend.
"The bargains will be really, really good," said Peggy O'Connell of the Escanaba Downtown Partners in Business, an association of local business owners who are partnering with the Escanaba Downtown Development Authority for the event.
The two days of shopping and fun will kick off Friday. Ludington Street will be closed from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to allow for food vendors, crafters, and other outdoor vendors to set up in the street and join with the downtown businesses.
In addition to the thrill of finding a great bargain, other activities will be taking place during the sale to keep visitors entertained and informed. Escanaba Public Safety will have a fire truck on display, the department's police dog and K-9 officer will visit, and the Escanaba City Band will have a mini-parade up and down Ludington Street to entertain shoppers.
The festivities will continue Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the downtown area. The street will not be blocked off, but shoppers can still expect to find special sale prices on items sold by downtown merchants.
"Saturday we'll still have things out on the sidewalk, and that's the day for the really deep discounts," said O'Connell.
The annual event has been a staple of July in Escanaba for as long as anyone can remember, but predicting the number of people who turn out for the event can be difficult.
"Two years ago people were up anywhere between 100 and 200 percent. So people are definitely getting the message that downtown Escanaba is the place to shop," said O'Connell.
Last year the sidewalk sales were held a week earlier than usual and a storm that brought high winds that tore down tents and limited the number of shoppers and downtown visitors.
This year organizers are hoping for good weather and a high turn out.
"We did it during the (National Trappers Convention & Outdoor Expo) weekend because we'd get a good crowd, and this is our traditional weekend," said O'Connell.
According to O'Connell, events like the National Trappers Convention & Outdoor Expo, the LPGA Symetra Tour, and the Newmar Kountry Klub's 29th Annual International Rally have led local merchants to stock their shelves with all sorts of special items - many of which will be available at deep discounts during the sidewalk sales.
For more information about the Escanaba Downtown Partners in Business visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EscanabaDowntown. More information about the Escanaba Downtown Development Authority, which has joined with the EDPB for this event, can be found on its website www.escanabadda.org.