Triple-digit heat no match for serious bargain hunters at 60th Annual Downtown Lawrence Sidewalk Sale

photo by: Mike Yoder

Shoppers look over yarn products outside Yarn Barn, 930 Massachusetts St., during the 60th annual Downtown Lawrence Sidewalk Sale Thursday, July 18, 2019.

When Veronica Decker arrived on Massachusetts Street at 5:30 a.m. Thursday, a line of shoppers had already formed at Urban Outfitters.

By 8:30 a.m. she had taken a load of purchases to her car and was back on the street looking for more bargains at the 60th Annual Downtown Lawrence Sidewalk Sale. Decker was happy with her discoveries, including a $50 pair of shoes for $5. But Decker, a Lawrence school teacher, said coming downtown for the sale was also about bumping into friends and former students and stopping to talk.

A gentle breeze on the scorching 100-degree day pleased Madeleine Stegman, a shop assistant at Third Planet, 846 Massachusetts St. She was under an awning outside the shop helping customers with an array of items from sunglasses to lava lamps.

“We began setting up at 3 a.m.,” Stegman said, “and were ready for business before 5 a.m.”

Photo gallery

See more photos from the Downtown Lawrence Sidewalk Sale here.

For years Peggy Hooper has come to the sidewalk sale with her granddaughter Samantha Page, 29. Thursday morning Hooper was introducing her great-granddaughter, Page’s 10-month-old Kynnleigh, to the sidewalk sale tradition. Page reminisced about coming to the sale as a kid to shop for school clothes.

Staff at Luckyberry Kitchen and Cocktails, 845 Massachusetts St., offered samples of a smoothie to help restore parched customers. Cooling stations with free water also dotted the sale route, and Checkers Foods handed out free watermelon slices, while First Baptist Church came through with hundreds of free popsicles.

Sitting on a stool outside Earthbound Trading Co., 916 Massachusetts St., Max Fowler, a sales assistant, said the shop had opened at 6 a.m. and by 8 a.m. had sold $700 in merchandise.

By Thursday afternoon, the outside racks at Urban Outfitters, 1013 Massachusetts St., were being moved back indoors. Andrew Chavez, a sales assistant, said it had been like a tornado of clothing as people took in the sale first thing in the morning.

“This place is on everyone’s hit list,” Chavez said. “It’s typically one of the biggest sale days of the year for the store.”

Because the store’s prices tend to run on the steep side, he said it was a good opportunity to get sales on end-of-summer clothing.

Despite the heat index rising to 114 degrees by 3 p.m., Sally Zogry, executive director of Downtown Lawrence Inc., said the sale had a lot of “good energy” and had “a good steady crowd.” She estimated that about 10,000 people had come out for the sale, with a new wave of shoppers hitting Mass. Street after the workday had ended at 5 p.m.

She particularly noted a great response to the raffle for a diamond necklace donated by Kizer Cummings Jewelers, 833 Massachusetts St. The raffle was a special event to mark the 60th anniversary of the sidewalk sale. The winner will be notified on Monday, she said.


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