Thousands attend opening of Sidewalk Days in Greencastle

July 11, 2008|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. If one of the signs of a strong community is a strong downtown retail sector, then the white tents peppering Greencastle for the 41st Annual Sidewalk Days are proof that the small Pennsylvania town is thriving.

Thousands of people flooded center square on Friday to shop the bargains and grab a bite from the 95 vendors and shops selling from the concrete on the opening day of the festival.

Hosted by the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce, the festival brings downtown businesses, organizations and local artisans into the sunlight for what most people could only describe as a party.

Jay Kline of Greencastle has made the trip downtown for Sidewalk Days part of his summer tradition.

The homey feel of browsing for something new while running into an old friend is what makes the festival so well received, he said.


Chamber Executive Director Bill Gour said Sidewalk Days has a reputation in the Tri-state area and shoppers will come from neighboring towns.

Businesses like The Jewelry Shop on Baltimore Street appreciate the exposure to customers who otherwise might not have known that a privately owned jewelry shop existed in Greencastle.

"Sidewalk Days benefits everyone," Gour said. "Shoppers come downtown, see businesses and eat at the restaurants, and that helps our merchants move some more inventory."

Greencastle has seen many changes in the past year, from the closing of old favorites like Wolf's Bakery to the opening of new ventures like A Black Tie Affair, but for shoppers, the selection along Baltimore and Carlisle streets was better than ever.

It had been many years since either Karen Reeder or her mother Catherine Reeder, both of Waynesboro, Pa., came to shop at Sidewalk Days and neither could remember why it had been so long since they had been back.

"We decided to get out and about today and this, with the sales and the sunshine, is just wonderful," Karen Reeder said.

The festival continues Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and vendors like Mandy Stottlemyer of Pregnancy Ministries say the day promises to be "good food, good people to talk to and a great time."

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