SAULT STE. MARIE — More than 20 businesses in downtown Sault Ste. Marie are teaming up this weekend to bring Sidewalk Sales to the Soo.
Sidewalk Sales is an annual event in downtown Sault Ste. Marie that has been going on for several decades. The summer vendor event, which is normally funded by and organized by the city’s Downtown Development Authority, often contains bounce houses, sprinkler pads, dunk tanks and other family activities.
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Since the arrest of former DDA Director Tony Cutler in May, which occurred around the same time that planning and organizing for the sale was supposed to begin, the downtown businesses have been organizing the event themselves.
According to Danna Sanderson, owner of downtown boutique store The Foundry, after Cutler’s arrest, the businesses needed a “champion” volunteer to coordinate with the DDA if the event was to continue being organized by the DDA. Since no business owner could take up this role, the businesses decided to host the event without the help of the DDA this year.
Sanderson and several other business owners gathered together to organize Sidewalk Sales on their own.
“We had a choice to make, we could either have Sidewalk Sales and do it simplified, or we could skip it this year,” said Sanderson. “We need to have Sidewalk Sales because it’s really an important source of revenue for this time of year.”
The event is also an opportunity for consumers to find good deals and sales that aren’t usually available.
“This is a time to get really good sales for a consumer,” Sanderson said. “This is a great time to come down and get deals, and that never changes.”
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The lack of DDA involvement means that the sale this year will be smaller and won’t contain some of the Sidewalk Sales staples, such as the closed streets and family activities.
The sale will cover Ashmun Street all the way from the Easterday Avenue intersection to the Portage Avenue intersection and will include most of the shops and stores along that road, including some shops on Portage.
There will also be booths of several nonprofit organizations set up near the other business sale booths.
Streets will not be closed down for this year and all sales will be restricted to the sidewalks.
The sale lasts for two days, starting on Friday, Aug. 5 and ending Aug. 6. Each business will have their own, different hours of operation during both days of the sale.
Contact Brendan Wiesner: [email protected]