Happy Hunting: Bargain hunter Katy Seibel stretches her budget in a sneak peek of the sidewalk sale

Handmade mosaic mirrors at the Phoenix Gallery will be 15% off at the sidewalk sale. Lawrence tourism leaders are hoping that Friday eventually will be remembered as the day that Lawrence took its first big step in becoming known as the art capital of the Midwest.

Handmade mosaic mirrors at the Phoenix Gallery will be 15% off at the sidewalk sale. Lawrence tourism leaders are hoping that Friday eventually will be remembered as the day that Lawrence took its first big step in becoming known as the art capital of the Midwest.

Past Event

Downtown Sidewalk Sale

  • Thursday, July 16, 2009, 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Downtown Lawrence, Lawrence
  • All ages / Free

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Twitter alerts at the Downtown Sidewalk Sale Many retailers continually roll out new items throughout the day — stay up to speed with new finds by following our bargain hunters at twitter.com/ljwmarketplace

Tweet all your best finds and hot tips for fellow shoppers using the #swsale hashtag and you could win a $50 gift card! #swsale

It’s 5 a.m. On any other morning, Massachusetts Street would still be sleeping off the night before. But on this, the third Thursday of July, downtown Lawrence is packed and bustling in full Sidewalk Sale mode.

Before many store owners are even done assembling their outdoor displays, early-birds are shopping fast and with determination, snatching up the best deals before they’re gone.

The annual shopping extravaganza has something for everyone. Original handmade crafts for the art collector. Sports and camping equipment for the athlete or adventurer. Trendy clothes and accessories for the chic fashionista. Toys and games of all kinds for the young or young at heart.

All at the lowest prices of the year. The sale has earned distinction as a bargain-hunter’s dream. This year, finding the best deals is not just fun, but an economic necessity for many.

Six of my favorite businesses gave me a sneak peak of their sidewalk sale offerings. Putting my thrifty shopping skills to the test, I gave myself an imaginary budget of $100 to find:
• a wedding gift for a friend,
• a birthday present for my sister,
• a birthday present for my nephew, and
• some summer clothing and accessories for me.

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These retro-inspired round shades are 2 for $10 during the Sidewalk Sale.

Envy, 911 Mass.

Make the street your runway at Envy, a hot spot for trendy clothing and accessories. All items are under $40 every day, and the sidewalk sale special is two for $10 camis and sunglasses.

Scored: Two bright camis and a new pair of shades, summer essentials for me!
Spent: $20
Saved: $12

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Handmade blown glass by Topeka artist Doug Schaeffer.

Phoenix Gallery, 919 Mass.

Specializes in handmade works by local, regional and national artisans. Their impressive collection includes functional pottery, blown glass, woodwork, jewelry, textiles and more.

Scored: A handmade blown glass bowl by Topeka artist Doug Schaeffer for a wedding gift.
Spent: $20
Saved: $49

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A charming periwinkle piggy bank on sale for $10 at the Toy Store.

The Toy Store, 936 Mass.

One of the largest independently owned specialty toy stores in Lawrence. With a fun-filled selection of toys, books, puzzles and games, their mission is to inspire creativity, individual thinking and community awareness through play and reading.

Scored: A piggy bank for my nephew.
Spent: $10
Saved: $12

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It may not be my most fashionable accessory, but a good helmet is a must for any cyclist. This Airius helmet is $19.98 marked down from $39.98.

Sunflower Outdoor & Bike, 804 Mass.

The downtown destination for mountain and road bikes, camping gear, outdoor clothing, footwear and more from trusted brands including the North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Patagonia, Specialized and Cannondale.

Scored: Airius bike helmet to keep me safe while cycling around Lawrence.
Spent: $19.98
Saved: $20

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A black and purple checkered wrap dress on sale for $30 at Nomads. https://admin.6newslawrence.com/media/photo/174243/

Eccentricity, 716 Mass.

A unique boutique that offers stylish clothing, jewelry, shoes and accessories for women. All clothing items are 40 percentoff for the sidewalk sale, and select merchandise is marked down even more.

Scored: A cute, comfy white tank dress, so I can beat the heat with style. Spent: $16.99
Saved: $28

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Handmade blown glass by Topeka artist Doug Schaeffer.

Nomads featuring Magic Carpet Traveler, 725 Mass.

A travel agency and boutique offering eclectic clothing, jewelry, bags and accessories for those venturing near and far.

Scored: An intricate gold and silver-tone statement necklace for my sister’s birthday (if I can bring myself to part with it). Spent: $10
Saved: $33

Grand total: $96.97
Total saved: $144

As always, downtown businesses came through with unbeatable bargains at the annual sidewalk sale. Even with this year’s limited budget, I walked away with gifts that will make an impression, a few practical necessities and some splurge-worthy items sans the guilt. It’s a fun Lawrence tradition that should not be missed.

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