Village Fair to mark 50th anniversary
Updated 8:16 pm, Tuesday, July 21, 2015
While merchants come and go over the decades, the New Canaan Village Fair and Sidewalk Sale will mark its 50th year downtown this weekend with a record high 125 vendors, entertainment, food, and attractions for kids.
The sale, which will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday July 18, will include discounted merchandise, a slew of entertainers including the magic of the Great Scirico, a rock climbing wall and photo booth for kids sponsored by Karl Chevrolet, and a bouncy castle at the lower end of Elm Street.
As important as the sales are to retailers, the children’s entertainment and booths dedicated to local non-profits and their causes make the day a true community event, Murphy said.
“I think it is just getting more popular and we’ve been lucky enough his year to have an intern working for us who also advertised it on some area tourist sites,” Murphy said. “It is certainly a big important day for the stores but has also been a wonderful family day since 1965. It’s a chance to enjoy ”
The New Canaan Village Fair and Sidewalk will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 18.
The Town Pop Up Park at the end of South Avenue at Elm Street will make a return for the event, and be a Food Court where shoppers can buy food, while restaurants will also sell foods up and down Elm Street.
The event will also feature a fair number of less familiar out-of-town merchants who are members of the chamber; who are allowed to participate as long as their merchandise is distinct from local brick and mortar shops, Murphy said.
In advance of the anniversary fair and sidewalk sale, the chamber has accumulated a collection of historic photos of the sales from town residents and other sources which will be on display in the chamber’s tent in front of Ralph Lauren, Murphy said. Organizers are hoping residents will stop in and help identify people in the photos.
While parking in downtown lots is often scarce, Murphy said that motorists should find spots at the only slightly more distant New Canaan train station lot on lower Elm Street, where spaces should be ample.
Pennyweights, a jewelry store on Elm Street, is also sponsoring a booth for a chosen non-profit, which this year will be “Slow Down in Our Town,” a citizens group which works with the town police and public works department to try to make New Canaan safer for pedestrians, Murphy said.
Another participant in this year’s Sidewalk Sales tradition is Walter Stewart’s Market on Elm Street, a business dating to 1907 and owned by the local Stewart family. The market has participated in the sale for four generations, Doug Stewart, marketing director and co-owner of the store, is the and grandson of Walter A. Stewart Sr. who ran the store in 1965.
Robert Bailey Stewart, president and owner of Walter Stewart’s Market, is a past president of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce which sponsors the sales, and Alex Stewart, another family member, is part owner and current member of the chamber’s board of directors.
This year the market will sell farm fresh Connecticut farm vegetables and fruits at lower prices out of the store’s trademark Ford Model T , and hold a 50-percent off sale on select items at the market’s brick and mortar location at 229 Elm St. during the sale.
“Participating in New Canaan’s Sidewalk Sales is a tradition we look forward to every year,” Stewart said. “The event is yet another great example of what makes our town so special…”
One of the more off-beat vendors will be Two Guys and a Grill, a business run by two college-age New Canaan men, Dan LoRusso and Philip Arliss, who will take on scrubbing dirty barbecues for prices from $60 to $135, LoRusso said.
The pair started the business six summers ago when LoRusso and Arliss decided before LoRusso’s senior year that they wanted to work for themselves, LoRusso said.
“We thought this could be something that was just a market that no one had really touched yet,” LoRusso said. “There was no such thing as a grill cleaning business.”
Shoppers who look up might spot another new feature of the sales, a flying drone which will film the proceedings from above, sponsored by Raveis Real Estate, Murphy said. The accumulated footage will be edited and posted on the chamber’s website after the event.
“Can you imagine if we didn’t have the Sidewalk Sales?” Murphy said. “It is really just a great way to enjoy a hot summer day in downtown New Canaan.”