DARIEN, Conn. -- Darien businesses will once again bring their shops outside this weekend when the Darien Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual Sidewalk Sales and Family Fun Days.
The Sidewalk Sales kick off Thursday at 9 a.m. and will last through Saturday evening, July 12. Tents and merchandise will be outside in the downtown area, in the Goodwives Shopping Center and in Noroton Heights. This year's event will feature about 80 participants, including local retailers, non-profits and outside organizations.
Retailers around town will be setting up tents and offering discounts on their merchandise. Chamber President Ssuan Cator said the event is much more than businesses putting out their items that don't sell.
"It's more of an outdoor shopping event. There will be some great buys for residents and for people coming in to town it's a great way to experience Darien," Cator said.
"The special thing about Darien is that so many shops are owned by locals, so you get more of a personal feel than you would at the mall or shopping online, where there isn't that connection."
There will be plenty of activities around town for kids to do while their parents shop. Inflatable houses will be set up for kids to jump on, the Bluefish and Sound Tigers mascots will be around on Friday to greet children, and there will be face painting at First County Bank, the Depot and the Darien Toy Box. There will also be firetrucks and police motorcycles at the Darien Fire Station for kids to explore.
There will also be raffle drawings for prizes such as gift certificates to local restaurants, tickets to a Sound Tigers game, and a Chamber gift certificate that can be used at a number of retailers townwide. There will also be a free musical performance Saturday at noon in the Grove Street Plaza.
Cator said that the event, which has been held every summer for more than 20 years, is a way for shoppers to support their local businesses and explore what their town has to offer.
"It goes beyond just a summer celebration. It's a way for the residential community to come together with the business community."