Downtown Lawrence Summer Sale set for all day Thursday

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What’s in a name? Though it’s been rebranded as the Summer Sale, the event formerly called the Sidewalk Sale will return to downtown Lawrence Thursday.

The name change is largely to set the right expectations for customers, said Sally Zogry, executive director of Downtown Lawrence Inc. — and customers should expect most sales to be indoors.

“We rebranded because even pre-COVID fewer stores were actually setting up on the sidewalk,” Zogry said. “When you market something as a Sidewalk Sale and there are only a small percentage of businesses outside it starts to look skimpy and as if downtown and downtown businesses are not doing well. That is not the case!”

The sale is set for 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 21, though not all businesses will adhere to those hours. Businesses from Sixth Street to South Park on Massachusetts, as well as New Hampshire, Vermont and the numbered streets nearby will be participating.

“Clothes, shoes, art, jewelry, sports and outdoor gear, accessories, games — you name it, are all on sale at the best prices you’ll find anywhere!” according to Downtown Lawrence Inc.

In addition to the sales, there will be prize drawings, voter information, and nonprofits tabling; KU Athletics will be onsite for activities and giveaways; and the River Valley Boys will perform at noon outside the U.S. Bank Plaza at 900 Massachusetts St.

Shoppers should beware the heat: temperatures are expected to reach 99° in the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. There will be cooling stations available at the Watkins Museum, at 11th and Mass, and at First State Bank & Trust, at Sixth and Vermont.

There will also be a giveaway for a $100 Downtown Lawrence gift card. Here’s how that works:

“Shoppers can stop by the DLI Summer Sale headquarters inside the Lawrence Visitors Center at 812 Mass. to enter the giveaway, pick up an event map with sale information and special offers for shoppers, and grab some water. Giveaways entries must be completed in person at the Lawrence Visitors Center at 812 Mass.

“Each $50 worth of receipts from downtown businesses on Thursday gets one entry. Show receipts from stores in four of the six blocks on Mass. St. (600-1100) and get an additional entry. Receipts from business on the side streets (numbered streets, New Hampshire and Vermont) will get another entry, and finally, anyone who fills out a Summer Sale survey gets an entry (no purchase required).”

Last year’s Sidewalk Sale was held in September. It wast at least a bit cooler, with temperatures peaking at 86°. Coming up this year, there will be a second big retail event on Sept. 10 that will be more sidewalk- and outdoor-focused, Zogry said. That event “will feature family friendly activities, hopefully live music, and fun to encourage people to come spend the day downtown,” she said. Being held on a Saturday will also hopefully allow for more working folks and out-of-towners to attend.

A full map of downtown parking is available via the city’s website. Zogry confirmed that work has been completed at the New Hampshire Street parking garage, and it will be available.

Find more information about the sale on the Downtown Lawrence Inc. website.

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Mackenzie Clark (she/her), reporter/founder of The Lawrence Times, can be reached at mclark (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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