DARIEN, Conn. – It may not be scheduled until July, but preparations are in full swing for the 2013 edition of Darien’s popular sidewalk sales, a tradition in town that stretches back more than 30 years.
Organized by the Darien Chamber of Commerce, the sales highlight local businesses selling their goods and services. It attracts thousands of local and area residents looking for deals and to learn more about new and established companies in town.
In 2012, more than 80 businesses participated in the annual event. In addition to great shopping, the event also featured food, entertainment and fun rides and play areas for children.
“The live music, street closure and children's entertainment gave a new dimension to the event,” said Carol Wilder-Tamme, president of the Darien Chamber of Commerce. The event’s success has helped to launch new businesses in town, such as Wiggles & Giggles, she said, and helped to further build established, local brands, such Everything is Rosey.
But the event’s popularity is already putting a crunch on space for some vendors along the Post Road, which could mean a few more vendors will end up under tents or inside shops.
The 2013 sales will be held from July 11 to 13, rain or shine. Wilder-Tamme, of course, is hoping for dry days.
“After talking with many business owners, it seems like we'll have a few more participants in 2013 than last year,” she said. “There will be print ads and website ads from Stamford up to Westport. After all the planning time, we just have to hope for perfect weather. … No rain but also not so much hot sun that people don't want to stroll and shop. Dry and overcast is the weather report on my wishlist."
So far, the event has landed several high-profile area sponsors, including First County Bank (which again holds the honor of being the Title Sponsor); Abercrombie, Burns, McKiernan & Co. Insurance Inc.; Baywater Properties; Darien Bank and Trust; Grove Street Properties; Helen Ainson; Nielsen’s Florist; Palmer’s Market; The Darien Times; The Gardener’s Center; Venture Portraits; Wells Fargo Bank; Darien Rowayton Bank; and Tibbetts, Keating & Butler LLC. After Title Sponsor First County Bank, the remaining companies are the children's entertainment sponsors.
The chamber is also selling advertising space in a circular that will go out to more than 35,000 households as the event grows closer.
“I just finished up our second SideWalk Sale & Family Fun Days planning meeting with Erica Jensen and Corrie Belardinelli from the Helen Ainson shop,” said Wilder-Tamme. “Erica Jensen has been on the SideWalk Sales committee for about 30 years. She and Sandy Nielsen were the driving force behind the change from just sidewalk sales to expanding it to ‘and family fun days.’”
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