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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 07/18/12
Feeling of festival to greet visitors at Sidewalk Sale
by CHRIS GRAYSnag some sales and send soldiers some love at downtown Romeo's summer shopping festival.
Observer Staff Writer
Shoppers can enjoy outdoor shopping, food and more at the Romeo Sidewalk Sales and Street Festival, to be held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 21, in downtown Romeo.
The shopping event, coordinated by the Romeo Merchants, Restaurants and Professionals Association (MRP), will have at least 20 street vendors and crafters selling their wares on the sidewalk alongside members and non-members of the MRP.
Bob DeLaura, MRP president, said the goal is to not only ring the registers of merchants, but to expose downtown Romeo to those outside of the area.
"If people come to town and don't see a good tenant mix, they won't come back to town," he said. "You can't just keep entertaining local traffic, outside traffic always helps."
The northern section of Main Street will be closed off for the sale's event. Coordinators tried without success to have S Main Street closed as well, but adjusted accordingly to keep the event going.
"Maybe if we can get down into the south end we can put on a bigger show," DeLaura said.
The sales are just a portion of what can be found during the weekend event. A DJ will spin tracks for people to dance in the street from 4-8 p.m., and members from the Romeo Dance Studio and All the World's a Stage will perform from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Shoppers can also keep an eye out for entertainment at the Starkweather Arts Center, a food court, free moon bounce, balloonist and face painting.
Kids can get in on the sales at the Kids-2-Kids Rummage Sale, put on by the Romeo-Washington-Bruce Parks and Recreation Department.
MRP Treasurer Carol Humphreys said there is more of a community effort this year to make the sales event bigger, with non-profit groups like the Romeo Kids Foundation benefiting alongside businesses.
"It's important to have community exposure and the support of your local businesses," Humphreys said.
For more information, call the Romeo Downtown Development Authority at (586) 752-1170.
In conjunction with the Sidewalk Sales, the Women Marines Association, the Romeo Masonic Temple and Romeo Post Office is holding its 10th Military Care Package Drive to send much-desired supplies to troops serving overseas.
As with past collections, the groups are seeking donated items to be placed in priority flat-rate mail boxes to be shipped to servicemen and servicewomen in Afghanistan.
Collection efforts will take place from noon to 8 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Donations sought out for the package drive include hygiene items like shampoo and disposable razors for men and women, plastic baggies, batteries, sunglasses and hard candy.
A full list of items can be found at the Romeo Post Office. Those wishing to donate can bring the items in an unsealed box or in a bag to the Masonic Temple.
Alex Stubbs, postmaster at the Romeo Post Office, said the collection effort typically results in 300 to 400 boxes to be sent to soldiers.
"We're so happy and so proud to be part of such a worthy and meaningful effort, where it bridges this great community with servicemen and servicewomen risking their lives to fight for our country," Stubbs said.
To honor soldiers past and present, military appreciation events will be held alongside the collection. Recruiters will have a Marine Corps challenge in the Village Park on Friday from 2-6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
From 4:30-6 p.m., a spaghetti and salad dinner will be served at the Masonic Temple. Entry is $10 per adult and $5 for children age 12 and under. Military family members can eat free.
Hot dogs will be available from noon to 2 p.m. the next day for $2 per adult and $1 per child. Military family members can eat for free.
A special Camaro painted with military tributes will be on display from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. Military and emergency response vehicles will be present from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as well.
OUTDOOR MARKET. Above, from left, Romeo Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Director Kim Hale checks the wares at Connie Connelly's outdoor stand. Merchants and other vendors will take to the streets on July 21 during the Sidewalk Sales and Street Festival. The sales event also includes food and entertainment for shoppers to enjoy as well as a military care package drive.
(Observer photo by Chris Gray)