Residents browse at Sidewalk Days

July 09, 2005|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - This weekend's annual Sidewalk Days in downtown Greencastle partly is a commercial undertaking for the local merchants and partly a social event for townspeople and visitors.

Downtown business owners in the small Franklin County borough prop open their doors, mark down their wares and haul racks and tables of merchandise out onto the sidewalk. Vendors under canopies set up temporary shop in the street for one block in each direction from the square.

Visitors can try on half-price shoes right on the sidewalk in front of E.L.M. Department Store and browse through racks of marked-down dresses.


Many people did just that Friday under alternately cloudy and sunny skies.

A popular spot was Wolf's Bakery, which sold hot, freshly baked soft pretzels for $1 and gave out free cookie samples.

Elsewhere, shoppers could buy Stones of Fragrance, laser crystals, crab cakes, baseball cards, jewelry and many other items.

Sandy Didio of Marnie and Mo's Antiques and Gifts said she has been in business on the square for three years and has participated in Sidewalk Days each year.

"We're usually really busy over that time," she said.

Didio finds her unusual antiquities at auctions and estate sales, often traveling as far as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to attend them, she said.

One stand sold Lucky Bamboo and money tree plants in ceramic planters along with a wide assortment of unusual handbags. The proprietor spoke no English, but had several customers looking over his offerings.

The event is as much social as it is commercial. People stood in small groups chatting with friends, ate lunch together at picnic tables and sat on porches watching the crowds go by.

Others admired the zinnias and petunias in front of the Post Office and laughed at the antics of a cat playing in the picture window of a house near Wolf's Bakery.

Ronald and Barbara Keefer of Mercersburg, Pa., enjoyed the food, saw some people they knew and purchased "some odds and ends" at the stands, Ronald Keefer said.

Dusty Wilhide of Greencastle pushed her daughter Sarah, 2, around the square in a stroller.

"It's a good gathering of people," Wilhide said. "You see people you don't normally see."

Her mother-in-law, Vicki Bard, also of Greencastle, said that "if you don't see family in a while, you see them at Sidewalk Days."

The group was heading for the Rescue Hose french fry stand.

If You Go...

What: Sidewalk Days

When: Today, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Center Square in Greencastle, Pa., and surrounding blocks

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