-By Joseph Domelowicz
For the Transcript
The Winthrop Spring Sidewalk Sale that will be held on May 14 is a town-wide event sponsored by the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce and the Winthrop business community. The goal of the sale is to raise awareness about local shops and businesses.
“We are inviting the public to go out and shop at our stores, use our services, enjoy our town in the spring and ‘see what Winthrop has in store‘,” explained Chamber Executive Director Eric Gaynor.
Now in its seventh year, this year’s Sidewalk Sale will feature over 50 businesses that will run specials on Saturday all across the town.
“This year we decided to make the event sort-of, pocketbook friendly,” said event Chairperson Diana Aliberti of Mary Kay Cosmetics. “We’ve encouraged the participating businesses to have ‘Dollar Daze’ items and specials on things, so that people can come down with not a lot of money and feel like they can still participate.”
Many of the businesses will offer something for a buck or two, or take dollars off of items and there will be lots of deals, clearances, raffles and promotions.
According to the Chamber, past Sidewalk Sales events have resulted in participating businesses seeing a large increase in sales, higher foot traffic, and a great response from consumers not just on the Sidewalk Sale day, but on a lasting basis as well. The event is also a fun and effective way to introduce businesses to new customers.
“Of the 50 businesses that are participating we have several businesses that have not participated before and we also have several new businesses that joined the Chamber, just to be a part of the Sidewalk Sale,” said Aliberti.
Gaynor also explained that there are lots of fun events planned as well, lending a kind of street faire atmosphere to the event.
Among the events are a “Touch-A-Truck” event for kids at the Cummings School semicircle on Pauline Street from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. where the kids can get up close to vehicles such as an ambulance, police cruiser, fire engine, street sweeper, bus, army truck, and more.
At 10 a.m. the Winthrop Concert Band will be performing in French Square, followed by DJ Cuzzi spinning beats and Kathy’s Place Youth Center will have children’s activities from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. and will also have fresh popcorn.
From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Elliot Whittier Insurance will be doing free child car seat inspections and safety checks at their Revere Street office with a certified police officer.
WCAT will be doing cotton candy at a table in French Square and Blackstrap BBQ will feature roasted corn nuts, along with lots of other fun food. A member of the New England Patriots Cheerleader squad will be on hand for pictures and autographs at 11:00 a.m. in French Square, at 12:00 at Twist & Shake, 482 Shirley St., and 12:30 p.m. at Hot Diggitty, 5 Crest Ave. Also, the award-winning WHS cheerleading team will be joining her in French Square and at 12:30 p.m. there will be a Zumba Surprise performance, also in French Square.
The Sidewalk Sale will also feature BIZGO, a shopping contest like BINGO, customers can enter a raffle for a $500 Winthrop shopping spree, plus additional prizes. The flyer includes a game card on one side with all the participating businesses on it. Each customer will have his or her “BIZGO” card stamped when making a purchase or transaction. Once they accumulate enough stamps they are entered into the prize drawing. Rules are outlined on the game cards, which can be found in this week’s Winthrop Transcript, or online at www.winthropchamber.com, or at several of the participating businesses around town on Saturday.
“Of course, the idea is to impart the message that ‘buying local‘ is critical not just this one day, but all year round,” said Gaynor. “Supporting the businesses that support our community makes sense. Businesses are the lifeblood of a community, whether it is putting residents to work, sponsoring youth sports teams, donating to local non-profits or causes, or helping to beautify the town. Dollars spent in town stay in town!”