Racks of clothes, tables of trinkets and droves of shoppers filled Massachusetts Street sidewalks Thursday during the 48th annual Downtown Lawrence Sidewalk Sale.
Free from the soaring temperatures and waterline construction of last year's sale, more shoppers crowded the sidewalks this year, downtown merchants said.
"I think the cooler temperatures are bringing more people in," said Dan Hughes, a board member for Downtown Lawrence Inc., the sale's organizer. "It's not 105 degrees like it's been in the past."
Hughes, owner of Sunflower Outdoor & Bike Shop, said the sidewalk sale was the biggest sales day of the year for Sunflower. The day also allows the store to clear out off-season merchandise.
Jake Jordan, a young Lawrence resident, was among the bargain hunters who arrived early to beat the heat and other shoppers.
"Down at the Gap there are really stylish sweatshirts with no sleeves that everyone should have for the fall season," he said.
Derek Kappelman, of Lawrence, said he'd arrived downtown at 5:30 a.m. and found a $130 pair of jeans marked down to $10 at Hobbs, 700 Mass.
Mark Swanson, Hobbs' owner, said he enjoyed the festive atmosphere of the sidewalk sale, which included costumes, music and dancing. He said it also provided a way to clear out inventory.
"This is just a fun chaos day," Swanson said. "This is all about making room for the fall."
Marlene Swaggerty, office manager at Weavers, said the department store had enjoyed large crowds.
"I've been really impressed with the amount of people downtown," Swaggerty said. "The cloud cover helped, and it's really nice to have both sides of the street open."