Greencastle shops the sidewalk

Bargain hunters roam Pa. town in search of deals

Bargain hunters roam Pa. town in search of deals

July 08, 2006|by DON AINES


The sidewalks and shops were crowded with shoppers hungry for deals, cold lemonade and hot country ham sandwiches Friday on the first day of the 39th annual Greencastle Sidewalk Days.

"We had a beautiful day ... We had a very nice crowd," said Cheryl Hoffner of McConnellsburg, Pa., as a young woman purchased one of her homemade baskets.

Hoffner's Hand Woven Baskets was one of more than 80 vendors that signed up for this year's event, up from 66 last year, said Bill Gour, executive director of the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce.


"This is my first Sidewalk Days," said Gour, who has been heading the Chamber since last August.

Organizing for this year's event began with a committee meeting at the end of March and several subsequent meetings.

"The biggest challenge is organizing this in such a way that all the vendors will be located in a place that will be noticed and make them happy," Gour said.

The event being limited to Center Square and a few blocks along Baltimore and Carlisle streets, Gour said he has to make sure craft and food vendors with similar wares are not situated too closely to each other, and have electricity when needed.

A staff of volunteers in red T-shirts was going around making sure the needs of vendors and merchants are being met, Gour said.

First Lt. Tim Mowen of the Greencastle Rescue Hose Co. was working a deep fryer, supplying a line of customers with hogtail fries - thinly sliced potatoes almost like chips - and other snacks from a trailer on the square. Mild temperatures and a breeze kept working fryers and barbecues tolerable for food vendors.

Down the street, the Greencastle Rotary Club was cooking up country ham and hot dogs at a well-supplied stand.

"Somewhere back in the late '80s, we started with a little electric grill," Rotarian Ken Rhoe said.

"I usually come down every year," said Judy Walter of Chambersburg, who had just purchased some place mats. "I have a lot of friends who are vendors, and I get to chat with them and spend a little money."

"Where there's arts and crafts, we end up there," said friend Penny Maxson of Chambersburg.

The merchants that call Greencastle home all year also were seeing good customer traffic.

ELM Department Store on the square had customers perusing sales racks outside and merchandise inside, while Wolf's Bakery on East Baltimore Street was selling cookies that still were warm from the oven.

Greencastle Sidewalk Days continues today from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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