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New Canaan Sidewalk Sale a hit despite heat

Published 10:28 am, Thursday, July 25, 2013

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  • The zipline was a hit at the New Canaan Chamber of Commerceís 48th annual Village Fair and Sidewalk Sales Saturday, July 20. Photo: Contributed Photo
    The zipline was a hit at the New Canaan Chamber of Commerceís 48th annual Village Fair and Sidewalk Sales Saturday, July 20. Photo: Contributed Photo

 

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The 2013 Village Fair and Sidewalk Sale may have been the largest ever, despite the sweltering 92-degree heat on Saturday.

"There was not a parking place to be had," said Tucker Murphy, executive director of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce.

"It was mayhem. There were cars parked in places I've never seen cars parked. I think it was our biggest ever."

She said there is no way to tell how many people actually attended, but police have estimated between 6,000 and 8,000 in years past.

"I've circled back with a lot of the storefronts and they've had record sales. Friday turned out to be a really good day. I think because it was so hot and people knew the merchants start on Friday afternoon," Murphy said.

She also said many nonprofits and service organizations also received exposure during the event.

One of the main attractions this year was a 100-foot zip line that carried riders through the air down Main Street. The zip line was paid for by Karl Chevrolet.

"The zip line was a huge success," said Steve Karl, co-owner of Karl Chevrolet. "The youngest participant was 4½, and the oldest was a 62-year-old woman."

"We had father-and-son races, mothers and daughters, and lots of friendly competition," Karl said. "I spoke to several merchants who said the crowd was in a good mood and overall their receipts were up over the past few years."

One merchant, New Balance New Canaan, was situated across from the zip line.

"We did really well; it was very successful this year. Most of the stuff was 30 to 50 percent off," said Mike Condon, of New Balance. The store had seven or eight tables set up outside, and a tent on Elm and South streets, but its storefront on Main Street was its busiest location.

"It was pretty cool," Condon said. "The zip line finished almost right in front of the store. I wanted to try it myself, but we were too busy."

One lesson of the sale may be that it's never too hot to drink wine.

"We had some Muga Rose open, and we sold six cases of it," said Rick Franco, of Francos Wine Merchants. "We went through two bottles of it pouring samples."

Another lesson might be that sometimes the best place to be in a sidewalk sale is inside.

"We had a tent outside, but also had a lot of people coming into the store. I think the A/C was a draw," said Sheila Grow, owner of She La La on Main Street.

She said her sales were very high, as were her discounts, with jewelry up to 90 percent off.

"It was wonderful. It was really well attended, especially because of the heat, and the chamber did a great job putting it on."

twoods@bcnnew.com; 203-330-6582; @Woods_NCNews